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The 7 New Habits to get back to work during CMCO

"How much exposure they should risk while keeping their pay checks coming?"

There are many concerns with the reopening of nonessential businesses in Malaysia. Many questioned how much exposure should they risk to earn their paycheck? There are also concerns of infecting the elderly and their children, resulting in schools and care centers being closed. Not everyone has the option to even go to work, but what are the alternatives if you have to go to office?

Department of Statistics Malaysia declared unemployment for March 2020 increased by 85,000 when compared to Feb 2020. With no income, businesses face risk of closure and severe cost cutting measures, resulting in employees digging deep into their savings to just survive. Hence the decision to reopen the economy in May. But how do you go about it with an unseen threat looming over the lives of the people you care about?

Adjusting to the New Normal

The most important thing about going back to work is to make sure you are not sick. Even if you just have a mild cough, it is not advisable to go to work. Remember that the illness is not just about you. Healthy young adults usually have nothing to fear from the virus, but they may unknowingly spread the disease to others at work, who then passes it back to their own family and neighbours. This will create a chain reaction, where the virus can transmit itself to those vulnerable, the elderly such as your grandparents or even your parents, should they happen to have the associated risk factors. The infection, coupled with these risk factors, could prove fatal. Look at one of the recent spreads of infection in Kuching, Sarawak. The person who originally got the infection, as well as the people that was in close contact are alive and well. But there have been 5 deaths from this spread of infection alone. You do not want to be held responsible by others for the lost of their loved ones.

Going back to work during this uncertain time

Precautionary steps to go back to work:

  1. Limit contact with others - this is because infected people can spread the disease to other people without knowing they are sick themselves! You can do this by avoiding close contact with colleagues while working, staying at least one meter apart from each other.
  2. Avoid crowded areas - this is true while taking public transport to work. It is probably safer to use your own transport to work.
  3. Avoid high contact surface areas - surfaces such as elevator buttons, handrails in public transport/stairs and door handles/locks. Try to use stairs instead of elevators, whether at work or from home. If contact is unavoidable, make sure to sanitize your hands afterward before touching your face. This also means to avoid your office pantry. Eat at your desk instead.
  4. Wash your hands - wash with soap/sanitizer often, after reaching the office/home, and as required while working.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose - wash or sanitize your hands first if it is necessary to do so.
  6. Ventilation - Keep your workspace well ventilated. Open the windows if possible.
  7. ...Don't go to work if you're sick!

Of course, the easiest way to stay safe while working during this period is to work from home. Check with your employers if you can work from home, only coming to office on certain days of the week, if at all needed.

Remember to stay safe everyone!

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