Madison Spangler | Aug 20, 2021
As the COVID-19 virus becomes more preventable, many people are starting to head back to work in the office. This is something that people have not done in more than a year in most cases. Many people may even be starting to go back to business travel or will be heading back to the city or country they work in. If you will be going back to work soon and feel like it has been a lifetime since you have been in the office, here are some tips to help you get back on the right track and do it safely.
COVID-19 is spread easiest when around people for a prolonged period of time and if seated close together. In-person meetings are safest if they are kept short and allow people to be social distanced. When not in a meeting, cubicles do a decent job of making sure there is a good distance between you and your coworker. Being maskless can be a practical choice if coworkers are social distanced and/or vaccinated.
Before this virus came about, you may have been less consistent about washing your hands, cleaning your workplaces, covering your cough, and using tissues and hand sanitizer. These are just a few ways to prevent the virus from spreading and each are super easy to keep up with. At this point in time, many people are vaccinated, and the use of masks may seem trivial. If it has been two weeks since the second dose of the vaccine (Pfizer & Moderna) or 2 weeks after the single dose (Johnson & Johnson), you qualify as fully vaccinated. It may still be thoughtful to ask others around you what their comfort level is with a mask-free environment.
Some coworkers may not feel comfortable coming back into the office, especially if they are not vaccinated. Some may want to come back without wearing a mask the entire day, or some may be only coming on certain days. Fortunately, at some point most businesses had all employees working from home and know how to communicate effectively even when everyone is in different places. This method can still be in place when important topics need to be discussed with a large group of people if some of members are still at home. Emails are an effective way to get information out to coworkers at home if something does not need to be actively discussed.
Many people were previously accustomed to taking business trips several times per year through their company to network, look at new markets, or have meetings face-to-face. Travel was at a decline and air travel was almost completely grounded for a while in the height of the pandemic. With more vaccines getting distributed, more countries and states are “opening up” and people want to get out of the house and get back to normal. For people who used to travel for business often, getting back on planes and going on business trips is how they “get back to normal”. Three quarters (74%) feel their employees are willing to travel for business in the current environment,. If not vaccinated, some destinations may deny your entry, so it is important to research where visitors are allowed and what guidelines are in place wherever you may be traveling to. Seven Corners offers COVID-19 coverage so that you may feel a bit safer when planning to start up your travels again. You can learn more about our different plans when traveling with COVID restrictions and threats here. The CDC has a checklist of recommendations and requirements for both fully vaccinated and not vaccinated people, in an article about travel during COVID-19.
The bottom line is that this virus is still spreading, even if it has declined. If symptoms are arising it may be smart to stay home and get tested before returning to work. Although being back physically in the office is exciting, working from home has become more normal, and it is still an option in many cases. It is important to feel your best and take care of your sickness early on, so you can get back in the office sooner.
If you are not ready to be confined to the office quite yet, you may fall into the trend of being a “Digital Nomad”, which is defined as a person who travels while working remotely. New research shows that American digital nomads have grown by 49% from 2019 to 2020, probably due to almost everyone being forced to work remote. Airbnb says 83% of respondents are in favor of relocating as part of remote working. More people have been working remotely since the start of this pandemic, and after following different quarantine rules, people are itching to get out of their homes and explore.As you continue your travel journey, Seven Corners has you covered. Whether you are a digital nomad looking for coverage in case of a severe injury or an employee wanting coverage for a possible baggage delay on a business trip, our Liaison Travel Medical Plans, and Roundtrip Travel protection plans can keep you safe during your journey.