Online Optimism’s COVID-19 Office Policies
Opening Up the Office
We at Online Optimism consider ourselves incredibly lucky when looking back at the insanity that COVID-19 has brought since its arrival. In March, our employees packed up their tech equipment to bring home and have successfully adapted to make Online Optimism a well-functioning and fully remote (at least until the end of June) digital marketing company.
We have closely followed the City of New Orleans’ updates and announcements, and have regularly referred to GNO, Inc’s coronavirus business updates, which show how they believe businesses in New Orleans should look at re-opening. They basically took the federal guidelines and applied them to the specifics of New Orleans’ economy.
When New Orleans rolled out Phase 2, GNO, Inc’s updates showed that offices may open at 25% capacity, with policies for sanitation and spacing for physical distancing in effect. We had already sent out several team surveys since March to gauge how Optimists were dealing with remote work. At this point, we sent a much lengthier survey asking:
- How many Optimists would consider working from the office.
- Issues that were most concerning about returning to work.
- Policies we could put into place to prevent spread of COVID-19.
Using this, we were able to come up with several policies to keep potentially sick employees away from the office, and to prevent any possible spread if COVID-19 did find its way into our office.
- Let’s start with our first and most important policy: It is completely optional to come into the office. If an employee is not feeling well for any reason, they may work from home that day and until they feel better. We also offer unlimited sick days, so they may also take the day off to rest and recuperate.
- Temperature checks: All employees must check their temperatures before coming to the office. Anyone whose temperature exceeds 100º must stay at home.
- Desk spacing: All desks have been spaced at least six feet from other desks. Although this makes for a funky layout, it has been effective in promoting social distancing.
- Mask-wearing: Optimists must wear a mask anytime they are entering, exiting, or walking around the office. They are not required to wear a mask when alone at their desk or when eating lunch.
- Hand sanitizer: We have supplied our in-office Optimists with an abundance of hand sanitizer. Anyone who enters our office will find it on every desk, table, and counter, as well as in heavy-traffic areas such as:
– By the front door.
– In each bathroom.
– On the kitchen counter.
– By the printer station.
– By our cold brew coffee kegerator.
Employees must use hand sanitizer each time they get up to visit any of these stations
- Minimized contact: We have enabled our cell phones to unlock the front door, thus minimizing contact. At the inside of the front door is a table stocked with hand sanitizer to use.
- Air filters: We added purifying air filters to all workrooms to prevent aerosol spread of coronavirus.
- Daily professional cleanings: Our office is professionally cleaned and sanitized after each work day to diminish the possibility of transmission through surface contact.
- Limited conference-room seating: To promote social distancing, we do not allow more than 2 people at a time to meet in our conference rooms. Larger meetings may be held virtually or outdoors.
- Pre-packaged food only: We only stock individually packaged snacks and meals in our kitchen at this time, although Optimists are not limited to bringing pre-packaged food for themselves into the office.
Has This Worked?
While staying home is really the only perfect solution, our in-office Optimists have enjoyed working together (from a safe distance!) and are doing their best to stay healthy and be mindful of others. We will continue to update these policies with looser or tighter restrictions based on updates from our government, scientists, and our own innovative Optimists.