15 Jun Social Distancing Signs & Protective Barriers for Post COVID-19 Office Reopening
While social distancing signs and protective barriers (such as ‘sneeze guards’) may not be mandated by the Provincial Health Officer after the pandemic is over, it’s quite likely that there will be some restrictions and/or permanent safeguards left in place. Public health order or not, our collective behaviours and attitudes have changed dramatically since the beginning of COVID-19, and many businesses will likely continue protecting employees and customers, because of lessons learned.
Social Distancing Signs & Desk Barriers Protect
& Lower the Cost of “Presenteesim”
In a survey by Office Pulse reported by Business News Daily, 70% of employees surveyed said they have come into work while sick. The reasons vary – from the “office hero” who never takes sick days and wears the fact like a badge of honour, to people who can’t afford time off, and others who feel pressured by employers’ attitudes toward sick time. While “presenteeism” (coming to work while sick) has become taboo during the pandemic, there is no guarantee that after the pandemic is over, employees will stay home when they’re ill, and some may be infectious but have no symptoms. This is why social distancing signs, desk barriers and sneeze guards are so important. The protection they provide was vital during the pandemic and will continue to be an important tool to protect against future COVID-19 resurgences, and costly workplace outbreaks of colds and flu.
Researchers know that employees coming to work sick costs companies more in the long run. It’s estimated that when a sick employee comes to work for just 2-4 hours, they spread germs to 40-60% of commonly touched surfaces. They may also be sneezing, coughing, and shaking hands in the workplace, nearly ensuring they’ll pass a virus on to colleagues, clients, and other office visitors.
The American Productivity Audit estimates that presenteeism cost companies $150 billion per year in lost productivity. While it seems obvious that one person taking a sick day may stop several other employees from becoming ill, old attitudes die hard. During the pandemic, we all learned too well what presenteeism can cause serious illness, death and a protracted public battle with a virus.
Employers are aware now, more than ever before, of the very real social and economic need to protect employees and clients. That means demanding that employees stay home when they know they have a cold or flu and implementing safeguards.
COVID-19 Reopening Signs & Barriers
The following are our most requested social distancing signs and protective barriers:
Social Distancing Signs
While social distancing may not be required for all businesses after reopening, there still may be times and places where their use is appropriate (e.g., elevators, public transport, store queues, concerts, and sporting events).
Desk barriers are a plexiglass glass divider that sits upon a desk. Sometimes called “sneeze guards”, desk barriers ensure that the people seated on opposite sides of a desk are protected from one another’s coughs and sneezes.
Reception Desk Partitions
Much like desk barriers, reception desk partitions provide a protective barrier between reception area employees and clients.
Workstation dividers are free-standing, transparent barriers that protect an employee at their workstation while still allowing for communication and light.
Hand Hygiene Stations
Hand hygiene, as we learned during COVID-19, is one of the main protections against infection and spread. Once this pandemic is behind us, companies that continue to use hand hygiene stations may benefit from reduced incidents of workplace cold and flu outbreaks.
Questions About Social Distancing Signs or Protective Barriers?
If your Vancouver area office is preparing for reopening, contact Sandbox Signs + Graphics to discuss the kinds of social distancing signs, restrictions signs, and protective barriers that would work best for your office.