For people who cannot work from home, social distancing at work is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) strongly recommends workers socially distance, and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for social distancing.
Here are strategies for social distancing at work, and what to do if it becomes a controversial subject.
People who work from home have significant control over their workplace. However, at an office or store, it is difficult to control other people.
A June 2020 poll found that just 48% of people wear masks at all times.
Workers may have colleagues who do not take the virus seriously, or feel offended when others wear masks.
Even when everyone at a workplace takes the virus seriously, practical and logistical concerns make social distancing tough. Some common concerns include:
- customers and clients who do not social distance or wear masks
- close workplace quarters that make social distancing impossible
- jobs that require close contact, such as healthcare roles
- touching surfaces others have touched
- roles that demand physical contact, such as those in elderly care or childcare