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Post-Pandemic: How Professionals Can Protect Their Health at Work


Despite a successful vaccine rollout and a dramatic fall in COVID-19 cases, it is natural that many professionals might feel anxious working in a post-pandemic world. After all, there is still a chance people can contract Coronavirus or pass it on to others.

It doesn't matter if you work in a healthcare setting, an office, retail environment, or building site, it is natural you might fear for your well-being. What's more, the demands of your job may have changed, which may lead to greater mental or physical pressure.

Find out how professionals can protect their health at work in a post-pandemic world.

Continue to Follow Hygiene Guidelines

The COVID-19 hygiene guidelines are likely embedded in your mind, as they are one of the best lines of defense against the virus. While cases have fallen, you must continue to follow the same guidelines to protect your health and prevent transmission to others.

Remember to wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds each time. If you don't have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol, which your employer should provide in the workplace. Carry a travel-sized sanitizer to clean your hands on the go, too.

Always clean your hands after:

  • Using a restroom
  • Pressing an elevator button or using an elevator
  • Touching communal objects (such as faucet taps, light switches, doorknobs, or cabinet handles)
  • Sitting in communal areas
  • Using a touch trash can

Wear a Face Mask in Busy Areas at Work

If you sit in your own office or cubicle, you likely don't need to wear a face mask throughout the working day. However, put a face covering on when in busy areas where it is impossible to maintain social distancing, such as hallways, elevators, or break rooms. Of course, there are environments where you will need to wear a face mask throughout the day, such as in a hospital.

Go Remote

If you are anxious about contracting COVID-19 or passing the virus onto a loved one with an underlying health condition, talk to your employer about your concerns. Many organizations allow staff to continue to work from home in a post-pandemic world or have adopted a hybrid model. Your boss might be more than happy for you to complete tasks remotely to reduce your risk, and you can communicate via video conferencing, online chat facilities, and email.

Technology isn't only ideal for office workers, as it is taking some of the pressure of many healthcare professionals' shoulders. For example, telehealth nursing allows registered nurses to care for more patients each day, which helps fill the nursing shortage, improve patient monitoring, and remove financial pressure.

Plus, it is improving self care for nurses who have placed their well-being on the backburner for their community, as the technology enables some nurses to work from home. Unsurprisingly, many healthcare providers have introduced telehealth nursing to care for their patients' and nurses' needs. If your employer is yet to adopt the technology, discuss the benefits of remote care to transform your colleagues' working lives and patient standards.

Protect Your Mental Health When Remote Working

According to a recent study, 75% of U.S. remote workers struggle with mental health issues due to increased stress, anxiety, and uncertainty caused by the pandemic. In addition, the same research found that four out of five workers struggle to shut off after the working day, and 45% feel less healthy mentally due to working from home.

If you are experiencing mental health issues when working from home, aim to lower your stress levels, improve your mood, and avoid burnout. For example, you must set strict working hours, take routine breaks throughout the day, and connect with others to prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Talk to your employer about a mental health issue to remove some of the stress from your working life. Also, seek medical help to receive a diagnosis and treatment, such as counseling, therapy, or prescription medication.

Avoid Public Transport

Many hardworking professionals need to take public transportation to work each day. If you often need to hop onto a bus or train, ask your employer about telecommuting to remain socially distant from the public.

If you cannot work from home, consider an alternative mode of transport, such as:

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Driving to work
  • Car sharing with only one other person and take regular tests

Skip Meetings

Meetings cannot only increase a professional's risk of COVID-19, but they can waste time and can cost a business money. If you want to stay safe at work, communicate with your colleagues via email or an online chat facility over organizing in-person meetings. If you need to talk to a client or customer, request a video call on Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Skype.

Don't Share Office Supplies

Before COVID-19, you might not have thought twice about lending a colleague a pen or sharing a stapler with your team. However, you must avoid sharing office supplies with others. Stay safe by using your own:

  • Pens
  • Staplers
  • Scissors
  • Calculators

If you need to use a large machine, such as a printer or fax machine, clean them before and after use. It is a small change that could prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the flu, or the common cold across a hospital, office, restaurant, or store.

Stay at Home When Sick

Before COVID-19, a reported 90% of employees would attend work when sick. Even if you suspect you are poorly due to the common cold or flu, you must stay at home when ill, as Coronavirus might be the cause of your symptoms. Plus, rest could help you recover at a much faster rate, which will allow you to return to your job in tip-top shape.

Also, the CDC recommends people over the age of six months old receive a flu vaccine to protect their health during flu and respiratory disease season. It will help you care for your health and ensure you don't spread any unwanted germs across your home, workplace, and on public transport. Never attend work if you develop a cough, a fever, or experience shortness of breath.

Stay Six Feet Apart at Work

There will likely be times when you will need to chat with colleagues face-to-face in the workplace. When talking to others, ensure you remain six feet apart. Even if a co-worker or employer appears fit and healthy, they might have the virus without displaying symptoms.

Open Windows and Doors to Improve Ventilation

Poorly ventilated workplaces can increase the risk of COVID-19. It doesn't matter if you work in a hospital, medical practice, movie theater, office, or restaurant, you have a right to work in a well-ventilated office. For this reason, you should open windows and doors to reduce your risk of Coronavirus, the flu, or another illness.

Thoroughly Clean Your Work Station or Communal Objects

If you often work at a desk, use a communal workstation at a hospital, or share telephones, computers, and keyboards with your co-workers, you must clean the surfaces before and after use. Don't perform any task at work until you're confident the area is clean and fresh, which can prevent the contraction or transmission of COVID-19. Clean all surfaces using either warm water and soap or an EPA-approved disinfectant.

Talk to HR if You Have a Safety Concern

U.S. employers must create a safe environment for employees and visitors each day, such as providing hand sanitizing stations at different points, cleaning surfaces regularly, and improving ventilation.

If you are concerned about a lack of cleaning tasks, low-quality supplies, poor procedures, or a disregard for the rules by your co-workers, talk to your company's HR department. Following your feedback, they might make changes or introduce stricter processes to create a safer environment for everyone.

Care for Your Health

Everyone has an individual responsibility to care for their own health. Lower your risk of hospital admission should you contract COVID-19 by eating healthily inside and outside of work, exercising regularly, enjoying a good night's sleep, and quitting bad habits, such as smoking. If in doubt, talk to a doctor or nutritionist for advice on losing weight, maintaining a healthy diet, or introducing more exercise into your lifestyle.


It is natural to feel anxious in a post-pandemic world, even if cases have fallen and you have received the vaccine. Yet, there are tactics, tools, and technologies that can reduce your risk and care for your health.

For example, various remote working tools will allow you to work from home and even remove some of the pressure from your role, from Microsoft Teams calls to telehealth nursing.

If you must return to work, you can protect your health by washing your hands regularly, routinely cleaning surfaces, maintaining social distancing, and wearing face masks in busy areas. Also, talk to your employer if you have any concerns regarding cleaning, hygiene control, or a disregard for rules, and maintain a healthy lifestyle to remain in excellent health.