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Social distancing at work—getting it right

If you can’t work from home, you might be asking how to apply social distancing (or physical distancing) in the office in line with COVID-19 requirements. It’s a great question and our recruitment experts have brainstormed practical tips to help.

We can all help stop the spread of Coronavirus by keeping our distance, including at work. Here are some ways you can do just that.

Avoid close contact

The Australian Government Department of Health says to stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. At all costs, avoid contact with people exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms. Move away from people coughing or sneezing.

Acknowledge people without touching

NO more shaking hands at work or exchange physical greeting. You can still greet but in other ways, including:

  • saying hello from the distance of 1.5 metres
  • acknowledging with a nod of the head
  • using an air handshake
  • giving an elbow bump
  • giving a thumb’s up.

Remember: A good big smile can go a long way these days. 🙂

Hold virtual, not face-to-face meetings

Consider rescheduling, staggering or cancelling non-essential meetings. Put off large meetings to a later date.

If you have to hold a meeting inside, only do so if you can follow the Australian Government’s four-metre rule (one person for every four-square metres of space). Only meet in a safe and clean environment and try to keep meetings short.

Other options including holding meetings outside where feasible (practicing social distancing). Or grab a cuppa and go virtual, taking advantage of technologies for holding virtual meetings, like Zoom or GoToMeeting or Skype video group.

Use online communications tools

A range of online communications tools can help you work effectively while social distancing. You can conduct team chats using tools like: Slack, Basecamp and Skype for Business.

Make sure your workplace is equipped to keep everyone healthy

Ensure tissues, hand sanitiser and cleaning products are readily available in the workplace (if they’re not, provide your own supply to be safe).

 Take your lunch and eat outside

Take your lunch and eat it outdoors instead of in a high-use, enclosed lunchroom. Don’t share food. Eat outside under a beautiful tree. If you must eat indoors, practice great hygiene and eat at your desk.

Consider coming to work at a non-peak time

It’s ideal to avoid public transportation, but if you can’t ask your boss if it’s possible to alter your hours so you’re not travelling during peak hours and having to stand or sit too close to other people. Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get to the office and don’t put your hands on your face.

Other tips

  • Practice social distancing outside of work so it becomes a habit, including at work.
  • Put a sign on your desk asking people not to touch it.
  • If people keep coming too close to you, discuss with your boss placing a line of tape around your personal space as a way of reminding others to keep the required 1.5 metres distance.

Important note

face2face remains open for business and we’re here to help all jobseekers, at all levels, in all sectors and in public, private and not-for-profit organisations.

In line with Australian Government requirements, we’re not meeting jobseekers or employers in person, but are in touch by phone and through online mechanisms such as Facetime, Messenger, Skype, and Zoom.

If you’ve lost your job, register with us online so we can put you on our database. Also, subscribe to our free job alerts.

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Whether it’s your first job, a new job, a career change, a promotion or re-entering the workforce after a break, we’re here. face2face will help you create a winning resume, boost your interview skills, and support you to find your perfect position.

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