Covid Ready Workplace Mini-Series (Part Two of Three)

Contact Tracing in the Workplace

As the world continues its fight, there’s one thing that I’ve learned and that is our enemy is cruel. Covid has deprived us of so many stolen moments this past year. Moments that we will never get a chance to redo. The virus has separated families, friends and co-workers. Suddenly, people that I once found annoying; I can’t wait to spend time with. But, as we continue our fight, we have to endure the separation just a little bit longer.

The workplace is no exception, for the virus’ cruelty has spread far and wide. Although companies will gradually return their employees to the workplace, they will be required to keep interactions between employees to a minimum to keep their employees safe from each other and the public. And for those employees who must come into contact with other employees as part of their job, companies will need to keep a log of all employee interactions for proper contact tracing measures.

What is contact tracing? It is the process of finding all contacts of a confirmed case, to test, isolate or monitor them for Covid infection and eliminate the chances of further spread. 

Here are some best practices to consider for implementing contact tracing in your company:

Eliminate unnecessary contact by keeping the acronym “USAGE” in mind.

  • Use virtual meeting platforms to minimize in-person meetings such as Google Meet, Zoom or Microsoft Teams, etc.
  • Stagger lunchtimes to prevent too many people in the lunchroom
  • Avoid in-person chitchat. Ask employees to communicate via the telephone or send emails.
  • Go directly to workspace after employees check-in upon entry into the building, they should immediately go to their workspace – do not make morning rounds to greet other employees (I know this is harsh but a necessary evil).
  • Eat alone. Make it mandatory that all employees must eat their lunches/snacks alone and no sharing of food.

Implement contact tracing procedures:

·      Mandate a sign-in sheet for each employee who physically works in the company. For example, if Lisa visits Amy, Amy will have a sign-in sheet in her office/desk to be completed by Lisa indicating the date and time of her visit.

·      A sign-in sheet should also be mandatory for any in-person meetings. Each employee present is required print/write their name, date and time.

These are unprecedented times that call for out of the box solutions. If we all contribute to the fight no matter how big or small, our accumulative efforts will no doubt result in families, friends and co-workers reuniting with each other.

This is part two in our three-part mini-series. In part three of this series, we will review “Work Schedules and Telecommuting”.

Lisa Trinh is a Partner at HR4U and is a certified human resource professional. If you have any questions or if you would like to get in touch with her, she can be reached at lisa@hr4u.work.

HR4U offers a cost-effective Human Resources solution to small and medium-sized companies just like an in-house HR department.  One to One advice from HR experts and 24/7 access to an Online Resource Centre for a monthly flat fee.