While conducting a risk assessment to implement government guidelines regarding safe working practices at SPAL UK, including posting warning signs to remind everyone of the rules, MD Matthew Morris ponders the impact of Coronavirus on office life.
SPAL has remained operational throughout the crisis being a designated essential service as an OEM supplier of fans to the refrigerated transport sector keeping cargos cooled in supermarket home delivery vans and those carrying temperature controlled medical supplies.
But as home workers return to the office, a significant change in behaviour is vital because the new habits we must learn are not just for the pandemic but the foreseeable future and beyond.
Many typical activities such as congregating around the photocopier for a natter will no longer happen so colleagues will have to show their comradeship in different ways.
One-to-one chats will have to take place with the required spacing and people will have to learn the art of conversation through a face mask.
The kitchen will no longer be a meeting place where you would make a round of teas for your work mates and guidelines advise everyone provides their own mugs and plates which have to be kept separate and can no longer be stored together in the cupboard.
When visitors come there will be no hand shaking so we will have to learn to seal business deals in a totally new way as I am not entirely sure that elbow bumping will really take off.
We shall have to learn to move through the corridors single file and be mindful of minimising contact with door handles and light switches and constantly monitor our adherence to the rules.
Good habits are as easy to form as bad ones but it will take some time to reshape our human interactions in the workplace to keep us functioning as a team.
There is a new sign of the times and it reads: Now sanitise your hands.
Watch a short clip of social distancing measures at SPAL: