If your office has reopened after lockdown and you have started stepping out to work, it is a good idea to check whether your office can arrange for your transport. However, it is important to take necessary precautions during commute even when in an office car. These simple tips will keep infections at bay. If your family members have started using office vehicles, it would be a good idea to ensure they follow these tips as well.
1) Wear a Face Mask
There is no alternative to face masks when it comes to protecting yourself and others from infections. It is important to cover your mouth and nose with a face mask when you step outside your house or when inside the office car. As per WHO, coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets that can travel up to several feet. This happens when someone sneezes or coughs without covering their mouth or nose. Face masks act as a protective layer against these viruses. Also, ensure the driver of the car is wearing a face mask. In case there is a co-passenger, as per government rules, he or she must also be wearing a face mask. Remember to dispose the mask safely after coming home. Click here to know how to discard face masks.
2) Maintain Social Distancing
If you are the only person besides the driver in the car, it would be advisable to occupy the back seat. If another colleague is allowed to travel with you, as per government rules, social distancing is important. While one of you should sit in the front, the other person should continue to be seated in the passenger’s seat. Avoid handshakes or any physical contact and keep talking to a minimum.
If the office car picks you up from a common point, like a bus stand or the main road, make sure you don’t wait where a lot of other people might be gathered. Stay away from other commuters and keep wearing a mask.
According to CDC, activities are safer if you can maintain at least 6 feet of space between you and others, because COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within 6 feet of each other. If you want to know how to travel safely in public transport after lockdown, click here.
3) Avoid Touching Car Surfaces
When inside the car, avoid unnecessary touching of seats, windows, handles, headrest or remote controls as far as possible. These surfaces may have been touched by the driver or other passengers before you. If some of those passengers are unwell and touch the surface with unwashed hands after coughing or sneezing, they pose the risk of transferring coronavirus or other infections to that surface.
The next preventive tip is to limit the use of your mobile phone as far as possible while using the office transport. Your phone may collect germs from your unwashed hands after you have touched multiple high touch surfaces. So, it is best to keep your mobile phone inside your bag or pocket while travelling.
You should also avoid eating or sipping on coffee during your daily commute in the office car. It would have you remove your face mask and use your unwashed hands, after you have touched multiple high touch surfaces.
4) Keep Your Hands Clean
The most important precaution during travel to work is keeping your hands clean and not touching your mouth or face with your hands during commute. The best way to clean your hands is to wash them frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. However, since you will not have access to soap and water while travelling, keep an alcohol-based hand sanitiser handy. Use it after getting inside the vehicle, after touching any handle or window, before touching your phone, before touching your water bottle and after getting off the vehicle.
Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth without washing or sanitising your hands.
After you reach your office, wash your hands thoroughly, using soap and water, if available. Remember, simply washing or sanitising hands is not enough. It is effective only if done correctly. You may read the right way to wash your hands here.
5) Take Care of Personal items
In the past, while travelling, you may have placed your handbag, umbrella, tiffin bag, etc on the floor of the office car or on the seat or in the car boot. However, post Covid-19 lockdown, it is better to refrain from doing so. Being high touch surfaces, these surfaces could possibly carry germs that you want to avoid. Ideally, keep all your belongings inside your bag, which you should then place on your lap. But if your bag is too heavy and you need to place it down somewhere, do remember to clean and disinfect it after reaching your destination.
6) Precautions After Returning Home
As an additional precaution, especially if you have children or senior citizens at home, you may want to thoroughly clean and disinfect all the items that went out with you once you are home. This includes your clothes, scarves, jackets worn while travelling and your bag, umbrella, mobile phone, wallet, etc. This article shares detailed tips on what to do after coming home from outside.
It is important to stay home if you or someone in your family is feeling unwell. Encourage your colleagues to do the same. This reduces the chance of infections spreading in the workplace.