The pandemic is yet to get under absolute clinical control. But the government is considering partially opening up cities. This is good for businesses and individuals, as far they are able to adhere to WHO and government guidelines.
Here are five things you should do before you leave for work to ensure your safety:
Yes, the government is taking steps to implement social distancing and hygiene norms, even in mass transportation systems. That said and done, you would want to minimize any possible risk of contamination. The best way to do that is by using a personal commuting vehicle – your car, scooter, or bicycle.
You can use carpooling with your family, friends, or colleagues. As soon as you enter the car, make sure that the seats and car’s surface are disinfected. Since everyone understands the gravity of COVID-19, you won’t have to worry about anyone getting rubbed off the wrong way.
If you are using your car, you would be in a relatively safer position. To avoid the health risks that come with avoiding walking or running, you can also consider cycling to work. This might not be a practical method for most people, but if you can, it does have its rewards.
If you have to go using public transport – make sure you are following social distancing norms, avoiding direct contact with surfaces, and wearing a mask all the time.
This emergency kit should involve an N95 mask, a portable disinfectant, a pair of rubber gloves, a pack of tissues, a hand-sanitizer, a bottle of water, some carb-heavy snack bar, and a portable phone charger. This is the least you should be carrying. Ideally, it would help you if you carry a couple of sets of masks, tissues, and sanitizers.
The sanitizing products will help you ensure that your workstation is cleansed to your satisfaction. You can use these to sanitize practically any surface before you directly touch it. The bottle of water and a carb-heavy snack-bar are necessary to keep you full, in case you get stuck somewhere for hours. Hunger can amplify panicking. The portable charger will help you keep your phone running all the time, especially in the situations where you need it the most.
Many employees who commuted to work during the initial days of the shutdown found that their boss had called them, but no other team members came in time. Before you leave for work and go through the trouble of taking your kit and traveling through the city, make sure you are needed at the office. This may sound a bit obvious. But when people have been working from home for months, it might become instinctive to reach office at the very first instance of need. Avoid that urge and visit your office only if it is necessary and if your team members are available.
Each of these apps will help you perform specific functions to ease your return to work. The Aarogya Setu app has been made mandatory for air and local train travel. Going beyond that necessity, you should still use it. The app is the Indian government’s centralized repository for providing all the necessary information on COVID-19.
SAHYOG app has been designed with the help of state government’s data to track the virus’ spread in real-time across geographies. You can use the app to see which areas of your route to work have been infected recently and avoid them at all costs. You can also use Google Maps to simply see which areas are crowded and avoid them altogether.
The MyGov app is where the government sends out critical information about all its initiatives. Since we are in a pandemic, it is common to find fake news spreading like wildfire across social media. The MyGov app will help you get updates on verified data by the government about COVID-19 before any fake news is able to cause damage.
Finally, the mobile wallet will simply help you conduct transactions. Many of us use wallets only when they are attached to some discounts. Now, more than ever, we have to avoid using cash since it involves physical contact. Wallets will ensure you can commute while keeping your money handy and the risk of infection minimized.
This is to prepare for the anomalies in your day. You might be going to your office, and you may find that the route ahead is hindered. You should be able to get on the phone with your boss and explain the situation in minutes. At the same time, your family should be aware of your whereabouts the moment there is a delay in your commute time.
Your family doctor should be on speed dial to ensure you have expert medical opinion available if you feel unwell at work or during your commute.
Some of these methods may seem obvious or an overkill. But, we have to look at COVID-19 as a group of possible threats. With these measures in place, you would’ve have minimized those risks dramatically. If possible, try working from home. If you are able to stay productive and collaborative from home, you might not have to go to the office altogether till the pandemic settles.