OMAHA, Neb. — Businesses are having to adapt their models so that employees can return to work safely.
When you walk through the front doors of AOI, a commercial construction and furniture business in Omaha, you're greeted by health forms, hand sanitizer and masks. But none of this is by chance. Everything from the spacing of walkways, to hand sanitizing stations has been carefully thought out by a team overlooking a safe return for employees.
"When this all first rolled out, first and foremost [we thought] how do we keep our people safe? What do we need to do," AOI president Chris Hill asked.
At the beginning of the outbreak, all AOI employees were working remotely. Only recently did the staff come back into the building. But they didn't come back to the offices they once knew.
"Everything we read, everything we've looked at, every credible source is saying masks and physical distancing is what you need to do. So that's what we're doing," Hill said.
Desks are spaced out, cleaning supplies surround most work stations and masks are required so all employees are kept safe and business can continue on as planned. AOI works with major corporations across the state and country and does office and space design. Those designs are changing as well, as companies learn to adapt to these changing times.
"They have certainly gone back through and looked at, do we need to adjust how much collaboration space we have or the distance between people," Hill said.
Other companies are still finding their footing on exactly how to adapt. Finding a source of credible information about the virus to stay updated, like the Douglas County Health Department, is a great place to start.
"If you've got some screening in place that's a great protection, that's one layer of protection. If you have all of those ways of making sure that people aren't coming into close contact, that's another great protection. And obviously the last piece is wearing a mask," Douglas County Health Department information line supervisor Andy Wessel said.
AOI has used the county health department and the Greater Omaha Chamber for guidance on re-opening.
These simple and effective tools can help companies avoid an outbreak in the workplace and minimize stress for employees.
Douglas County Health Department COVID-19 Information Line: 402-444-3400
Greater Omaha Chamber "We Rise" Plan for Businesses and Commerce: