While it's important to set up your home office for comfort during the COVID-19 crisis, this is a good time to think about how you will stock your office once people return to work. To begin with, office managers and business owners can put together lists of additional items needed to maintain social distancing.
Essential Supplies to Order Ahead of Time
The Government of Canada cautions its employees to prepare for good hygiene practices when they return to the office. Prioritize personal protective equipment and items like hand sanitizer that can prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Since supply chains may remain uncertain for some time, order supplies weeks in advance of when you think you'll need them. Also, consider increasing the normal supply of products used to sanitize surfaces or necessary for good hand hygiene.
These products typically include:
- Disinfectant wipes and/or spray
- Paper towels
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand soap
- Face masks
Make It Easy for Employees to Follow the Rules
Keep disinfectants and wipes where employees will need them, including break rooms, bathrooms and workstations. Setting up sanitizing stations beside doors and elevators encourages employees to wipe off door handles and elevator buttons.
Place hand sanitizer strategically in conference rooms, in communal areas and at each workstation to reduce the risk of infection. You can even post guidelines for how to clean surfaces and other prevention tips.
Some Office Supplies Can No Longer Be Shared
It's not just cleaning and sanitizing products that may be in short supply. Employees can no longer safely share certain office supplies and need to contain the ones they use at their workstations. Stock up on staplers, pens, paper clips, storage trays, hole punchers and other supplies that employees tend to share.