Livsdal’s guide to a healthier workplace

With covid-19, we have been forced to do a great deal of telework, but it can also be a good idea to review the workplace’s routines for minimising the spread of infection. In this guide, we would like to share some tips for a new everyday life in our offices, classrooms and clinics.

1. Create employee and student commitment

All employees and students have a responsibility to help minimise the spread of diseases in the workplace and at school, not least through more careful routines around handwashing, which we have now made a good habit of doing. Information and commitment are keywords enabling us to own the issue together. For this reason, start the new routines by inviting your people in to an inclusive discussion about how we can minimise the spread of infection in our workplace.

2. Establish zero tolerance to obvious spread

Establish zero tolerance towards employees and students with disease symptoms in the office, such as general malaise, sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, joint and muscle pain. Those who are ill should stay at home to recover – or work remotely when they have the energy and opportunity.

3. Greeting each other without touching

According to the Swedish Public Health Agency, a common source of spread of infection takes place via our hands. We are used to greeting each other by shaking hands or hugging. Maybe it’s just as good to look each other in the eye and acknowledge each other with a little wave of the hand or a gentle nod? According to the philosopher Jonna Bornemark, one benefit we get from such new greeting routines might be that we avoid the uncertainty as to whether it’s a hug or a handshake that’s applicable when we meet our acquaintances in our environment.

4. Continue with social distancing

We have already become accustomed to not standing or sitting “right on top” of one another in public environments. Be encouraged to continue to keep this safety distance even in office and school environments as often as possible.

5. Clean more frequently

Inspired by the Swedish Public Health Agency’s advice concerning cleaning schools where, above all else, surfaces such as tables, door handles and railings need to be cleaned with a mild alkaline all-purpose cleaner at least once a day. In bathrooms and toilets, cleaning can be made more efficient with the use of disinfectants. Rubbish bins in toilets should also be emptied regularly. And introduce routines concerned with wiping computers, tablets and keyboards every day.

6. Glass yourself in

We are beginning to get used to plexiglass screens as a form of protection between us and staff at the cash register in the grocery store. Perhaps, it might also be an option to set up protection partitioning between the desks in the office landscape and/or reception areas?

7. Clean the air

Air pollution makes the body more susceptible to infection. Indoors, pollutants may also be up to 50 times more harmful than outdoors. Given that we stay indoors about 90 percent of the time, it may be worth investing in an air purifier. An air purifier from Livsdal is based on the same technology used in hospitals and in the space industry to create a safe indoor climate. It eliminates exhaust fumes from traffic and harmful particles from the flame retardants used in textiles, furniture and electronics. In addition, it has a documented capacity to capture particles as small as viruses. With effective air purification, we reduce the strain on the lungs, which makes it easier for the body to recover.

8. Affirm a healthy lifestyle

There are, of course, a number of other parameters that affect people’s capacities to stay healthy and that go beyond the above suggestions for routines in the workplace. Some examples of behaviours an employer could encourage through discussion and recommendation are:
– Recovery (rest, sleep, hobbies, etc.)
– Exercise to increase energy and reduce stress, both of which strengthen the immune system
– Conscious presence, mindfulness or meditation to deal with stress
– Access to fresh air and sunlight, which helps strengthen the immune system
– Good eating habits with less prefab food