Staying Safe When Returning To Work

Date Published: 22-06-2020   Published By: OfficeStationery

With recent Government advice allowing more people to go back to work, ensuring you stay safe in your workplace is more important than ever. Government advice currently states to return to work if you must but work from home if you can. Your company should have put precautions into place before your return (such as sanitising stations and distancing markers on the ground) to aid in keeping you safe, however we have put together some top tips that will help you further.

Tea O’Clock is now a solo task

Everyone loves a tea and coffee break, and the tea round was always a fundamental part of the working day. Trying to remember how everyone takes their hot drinks followed by trying to balance 14 cups of drinks through the office. This was always a secret test for new employees and provided endless fun and jokes as there is always that 1 person who cannot make a good cup of tea. However, in the current climate, tea O’clock should become a solo task. Making tea for others COULD heighten the risk of becoming infected or even infecting others if you are carrying the virus.  Even taking your own mug, teaspoon and tea bags from home can help to avoid contamination and keep you safer. 

Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind

Okay, so this age old saying may sound dull… BUT a tidy desk really is key. Keeping items on your desk to a bare minimum will limit the amount of items that could be touched by other people. Also, having a pack of disinfectant wipes in your desk drawers are really handy to wipe down your desk and belongings at the beginning and end of your working day. 

Guard your pen, with your life

No matter where you work and what your job entails… Everyone knows that pens are like gold dust. We all end up starting with a pack of 50 pens, using one for a few days before it goes missing and before you know it, you’ve completely run out and you're borrowing from someone else. We also know that over 30% of people chew on their pens whilst working. This means that borrowing someone else's pen, or even lending your pen to someone else, greatly increases your chances of becoming infected. That is why you should guard your pen, with your life! Label it if you have to. But make sure you have it with you at all times- especially when visiting someone else's desk in case they need you to make notes or sign something, that way you won’t have to quickly borrow one of theirs. 

Take the stairs

Not only will taking the stairs increase your health and fitness levels, it stops you from being stuck in small, crowded lifts with a number of other people. Lifts are small spaces and when full, can be a virus hotspot for contamination. If you work in a large office block and taking the stairs would not only add 20 minutes to your commute, but also mean you turning up to work a hot sweaty mess, ensure you wear a face mask whilst riding the lift and sanitise your hands before and after.

Take advantage of the internal call system 

Needing to ask your colleagues questions can be a welcome break during your day, especially if this involves you leaving your desk to visit another department or floor. Although it may be less fun, avoiding visiting others' work spaces will limit your chances of becoming infected and infecting others. If you need to ask questions or brainstorm ideas with others, take advantage of your internal call systems and pick up the phone. You should definitely not isolate yourself completely, this can negatively impact your mental health, and for some, the fear of infection may stop you from wanting to socialise. The company phone systems will allow you to have contact with others without putting each other at risk.

Become one with nature

So this might sound extreme, but what we mean is, get outside. Take your breaks outside in the fresh air opposed to sitting in staff rooms and cantenes. Having your breaks outside also gives you prime time to socialise with your friends and colleagues at a safe distance which can positively help your mental health. 

Talk to your employer

If you are not able to work from home and have to return to work, and you have any worries or concerns, make sure you speak to your employer about it. This whole situation is new to everyone and we are all learning how to deal with it and get back to some sort of normality as quickly as possible. Your employer will be doing everything they can to keep you safe, but you might have some ideas that they haven’t thought of. They may also be able to put your mind to rest about any concerns you have by explaining fully what changes they have made to keep you safe (there may be changes behind the scenes that you are unaware of). 


There is no doubt that the key to keeping yourself and others safe is keeping clean and distant from others. On top of the smaller changes listed above that you can make to your day-to-day life, make sure that you Stay Safe - Stay Alert - Save Lives.

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