If there’s one thing that you dread about at the end of Circuit Breaker, it’s this: you’d have to wake up earlier and go back to work.
No longer can you wake up at 7:55am, show your face in a Zoom meeting at 8am and go back to sleep before starting work at 11am.
Or maybe…you can?
Because MOM, together with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), has set guidelines on what is expected when workplaces are reopened, and suffice to say, if you can work at home, you should continue to do so.
Here are the guidelines that would be the new norm come post Circuit Breaker (or for essential workers, the new norms now):
You Must Continue With Work From Home Arrangements
If you can work from home, you’re supposed to continue doing that. In fact, do you know that Google and Facebook now allow their employees to work from home until the end of the year? So if you’ve not switched your electricity retailer to a cheaper one, you should really do so.
By now you’d have received your first bill since Circuit Breaker began and would have hoped that you’ve turned off the real physical circuit breaker in your house.
If You Need to Work in Office, Rules Will Apply
If somehow you need to be in the office (poor you?), there are a few rules you’d have to follow.
For a start, even when you’re in the office, you’d have to wear a mask. Yes, this means you can’t snack and work at the same time. Working hours and break times should be staggered, too: that means office hours could be a thing of the past.
If you’ve a crush in another department and you’ve always found many excuses to go to her area to strike up a conversation, that’s no longer allowed: people aren’t supposed to meet others in another team. Please fall in love again after the COVID-19 threat is over.
And in your workstation, you should be at least 1m apart from each other. Guess days of “you cross the line!” in primary school finally come in handy.
If possible, there should be a barrier between each employee. It’s hard to explain this with words, so maybe you can check out this video of ours and see how our office workstation has a barrier between each employee (and also subscribe to our YouTube channel, please?):
Your Company Should Have at Least One Safe Management Officer
One of you would unfortunately be arrowed for a new role: Safe Management Officer (SMO).
If you’re arrowed to be one, you’re responsible for everything that’s listed here and more: you need to keep a record of the inspections you’ve done. But on the bright side, you’re now a Safe-Distancing Ambassador and can even give instructions to your boss. Just pray hard that you won’t meet any Sovereigns.
You Must Take Your Temperature Twice Daily
Don’t have a thermometer? Time to get one because you’d need to submit your temperature twice daily. And for any visitors to your office, you need to take their temperature, too.
So if you ever think of going to work while having a fever, banish that thought immediately.
You Must Apply Safe-Distancing Measures During Meetings
If you can, just meet over Zoom because you should be accustomed to it now. If not, you should limit the number of attendees and keep it short and brief.
Well, that’s actually a habit that should be developed even before this outbreak.
You Should Follow Certain Rules When You’re Not Feeling Well
Your boss, or the safe management officer, should ensure that all employees are well. There should be an evacuation plan for any employees that are unwell or could potentially be a suspect.
And if you’re feeling unwell, you shouldn’t doctor-hop, and you should submit results of any COVID-19 tests you’ve had taken to your boss or the Safe Management Officer.
You Should Ensure the Submission of Travel History Before Entry to Office
Any visitors or employees who enter a workplace should have submitted a travel history, and they should not have a quarantine or isolation order, stay-home notice, medical certificates for respiratory symptoms, or have been close contact with a confirmed case.
Obviously anyone who fulfils any of the points above would be denied entry.
This, however, excludes your McDelivery:
You Should Apply Safe-Distancing Measures with Deliveries
Food coming to your office? Make sure safe-distancing measures are applied. For deliveries of goods and supplies, you should try to stagger the delivery timings and keep it as brief as possible. Yes, that means no chit-chat with the friendly delivery uncle.
You Should Check In With SafeEntry
This works just like the lock you have in your office, unless your office is so old-school that you’re still using a physical key to unlock the door.
Your company should have SafeEntry registered, and you need to scan a QR code or your NRIC whenever you enter the premises. Just save the records lah because come post Circuit Breaker, most places you go would require this check-in system liao.
You Should Keep Your Workplace Clean
Now’s the best time for your to tell your boss that you need to spend a day doing housekeeping. Not sure if MOM would fine you for having a small piece of potato chip between your keys in your keyboard, but just keep everything clean and tidy to the best of your ability lah.
You should keep your workplace clean, and any shared equipment like the printer should be disinfected after every use.
Before you cast this in stone, do note that the COVID-19 pandemic is so fluid, these measures might no longer apply when you start work. For example, Neo might have landed on earth to install an anti-virus program, or a new mass antibody test shows that 95% of us have already been immune to it because the coronavirus been spreading in the population since 2001. Who knows.
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