After being stuck at home for more than 3-4 months, going back to the office isn’t much of a burden for most of the professionals in India. Particularly with coronavirus pandemic still lurking in the bustling streets of almost all the major cities, it becomes challenging to ensure personal safety in public areas due to the unprecedented nature of the virus.

 Leaving the safe premises of your home and going back to work is a tough choice but when you get a call from your office/boss, whether you work at a standard office or a coworking space, you don’t have much of a choice but to go, no matter what the circumstances. Most affected cities in India are Mumbai, Pune and Thane, ranking in top three.

 However, there isn’t much to worry nowadays cause the government has already implied strict rules in all the workplaces to ensure employees safety. Also, most of the companies are putting in a lot of efforts to ensure a safe & secure work environment, even coworking spaces are becoming covid compliant but there is still a some contribution that you have to make to keep you and your family safe and that is to follow these essential hygiene drills:  

a) Prepare yourself

Now that the lockdown is finally being lifted it has certainly brought relief to a lot of business owners, startups and employees. After killing a lot of time at home for months, nothing can be as liberating as going back to work and following a normal routine. But as the COVID19 is still near the horizon it’s crucial to prepare yourself before you step out of your home. Make sure that you have installed arogya setu app on your device as it will alert you of any potential threats around you or in a particular area.

Likewise, keep yourself up to date with all the latest news surrounding your city so that you are always aware of where new cases are emerging and which area is not safe for daily commuting. Also, exercise regularly and try doing basic yoga/ meditation to stay fit, it’s very essential to prepare yourself mentally and physically every day to avoid strain and boost immunity. 

b) Create a plan

Different industries have a different work environment, if you are working in a coworking space your work environment will have more flexibility as compared to a regular office. Also practising social distancing will be much easier in some workplaces whereas in others it might be difficult. Hence based on your respective work profile & coworking structure you have to create a plan on where & how you will stay safe in your workplace.

 Also, make sure that you are travelling with precautions to your office, try to avoid overcrowded areas & its always better to use your own vehicle for daily commuting instead of any public transportation. Try to avoid it as much as possible but if you don’t have any other choice then use it with utmost care by practising strict social distancing  safety norms.

c) Don’t forget to carry your protection gears

Make safety gears your best friends and carry them wherever you go. Always keep an extra set of face masks in case you drop it by mistake or misplace it in a public area. Hand gloves, sanitizers and handkerchief will be the new mandatory addition in your backpack. Avoid using office cutleries & mugs, better carry your own in case you need them to ensure safety.

Take the stairs and evade the lift ! Stepping a few floors might wear you out but it will definitely give your legs & lungs a nice workout. Also, make sure you carry fresh fruits, juices or protein shakes to your workplace/ co-working space, as it will help to build your immunity which is extremely important to fight COVID19.

 d) Implement safe work practices at the office

It’s time to go old school by using namaste instead of shaking hands with your clients or office mates. Don’t remove your mask as soon as you enter office, it maybe irritating but still, you never know what might happen especially in an uncertain world of pandemic as almost every other individual is a suspect. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap frequently, especially after touching any surface area. Avoid touching your face, mouth and eyes as they are the entrance ramp for viruses to enter your body.

 Switch to working in cubicles or with safe distance in your office & avoid overcrowded areas. Especially during lunch or tea break try to alter your break timing by analysing when most coworkers in your office take a break. Based on it choose a timing when the pantry is least crowded.  

e) After work safety measures

Try to finish your work as soon as possible and depart from your office on time. Avoiding late-night traffic and crowded areas should be your top priority. Once you return home from your office/ coworking space, it’s best to take a shower and dispose of your clothes, mask, & handkerchief in a laundry basket.  Last but not least is to eat proper food and take good rest, as they are the best immune boosters and keep your body energized and ready for the next day. 

Just remember, if you are having even the slightest feeling that you are sick or not feeling well, then stay home and consult a nearby physician immediately.

 “The simple act of caring for self in this epidemic is heroic.”