Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Returning to work during Coronavirus? Here are the 8 things you need to do

The Coronavirus pandemic has turned our work-life upside down. In Malaysia, we should be thankful that the situation is within control and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the past few days as the number of new cases is dropping. A lot of companies have obtained MITI approval to start the operation. If you are one of those who are returning to work soon, we have good advice that will benefit you in this trial time.

1. Bring the relevant documents with you at all times

While we are still under the Movement Control Order (MCO), please bring along relevant documents with you at all times. This include:

  • Official MITI letter that allows your company to operate during MCO
  • Work allowance letter (surat izin kerja) issued by your company with your name and I.C. number
  • Your employee badge
  • Your I.C.
  • A document that shows your house address such as bills or official letters if your I.C. address is different from your current address 
In the event you are stopped by the police or army, produce the documents to prove that you are allowed to travel to work.

*If you are reading this after the MCO has been lifted, you can skip this step.

2. Clean and sanitize your work station

The first thing you should do when returning to work is to sanitize your work area. Bring along your sanitizer spray, wipes, or gel and clean the areas where you are most likely to touch, such as your computer, drawer handle, armrest on your chair, phone, etc.

3. Set timer to wash your hands

Washing your hands is one of the effective ways to prevent coronavirus infection. Set a timer to wash your hands hourly or every two hours depending on your needs. Otherwise, just remember to wash your hands as frequently as you can.

4. Pack your lunch and snacks

Packing your lunch to work is probably more convenient than going out to buy your lunch or call for delivery. It is best to avoid going outside and also avoid contact with other people the best that you can. Packing your own lunch and snacks also put your mind at ease as to whether your food is clean and you are also aware of how your food is being prepared. While we are talking about food, you should also keep your coffee or teacup covered when not drinking.

5. Avoid meetings in a large group

In our new norm working lifestyle, we have to avoid meetings, especially it is held in a large group. Use video conferencing tools to host your meeting. Deep down inside, we know that some meetings could have been just an email.

6. Wear a mask at all times

Wearing a mask will prevent you from any kind of virus infection, not just the coronavirus. Make sure that your mask should be a surgical mask or N95 that able to filter out the virus. Cloth mask may not be efficient in this case.

7. Avoid going to common areas

You should not hang out in common areas such as a pantry, lobby, rest area or office walkway. Common areas are frequent by other employees, hence may not be clean.

8. Take a shower as soon as you’re home 

As soon as you are home, take a shower or bath, preferably with hot water. You should also wash your hair. This will not only protect your health but also the health of your family.

Our best advice is to go to work, avoid humans, get things done, and go home immediately. During the pandemic, it is not the time to socialize with your colleagues. Stay safe and practice social distancing at all times. 

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