As news about the Coronavirus continues to grow, AIGA Jacksonville would like to empower the design community to take a proactive approach toward minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We have consolidated a set of practical guidelines to help you in your daily work environment. If you are a manager, consider implementing some or all of these at your workplace. If you are a designer, consider discussing these actions with your manager if they don’t already exist. Consider these preventative actions that you can take immediately:
- Discourage outside visitors into your offices. This could include external client meetings.
- Any employee with any kind of flu symptoms should stay at home. No exceptions.
- Create a culture of safety. Let your team know that if they feel unsafe, they can speak with their managers about a work-from-home option. See our article on Managing Productivity of Remote Teams
- Stop all long-distance travel for business reasons.
- While you can’t tell employees what they can and can’t do in their free time, discourage personal travel. Ask your team to be safe and use their best judgment.
- If your team requests extra sick days, consider accommodating them. Do this by encouraging an honest and open dialogue with them.
Additional policies and actions for a safe working environment
- Supply hand sanitizers for all employees. Ask them to leave one on their desk and carry others with them. Encourage them to use it excessively.
- Supply proper cleaning equipment for each employee’s desk. Encourage them to clean their desk, phone and computers as often as possible.
- Encourage your team to wash their hands multiple times a day. Like, all the time.
- Increase cleaning services/policies such that all communal surfaces are cleaned every 2 hours.
Make sure your team is educated on how this virus is transmitted. You can do this by posting a message via email or internal communication channels. Here is an example letter you can use:
With all that is going on in the media, we wanted to make sure folks are clear on what the Coronavirus is. To help, we recommend reading this overview from the BBC. Despite it being a few days old, this episode of New York Times’ The Daily podcast does a great job articulating the situation.
With escalating reports from various sources, the seriousness of this virus is concerning as its potential spread to the Jacksonville region. It is important to remember that a small percentage of people who contract the virus suffer life-threatening conditions. The risk of death skews towards older adults with pre-existing respiratory ailments and the elderly. Even if you do not fall within this demographic, your job is to do your part to responsibly contain the spread within our local communities.
According to several sources including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Corona (COVID-19) transmits through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that is contaminated and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, however this is not considered to be the main way the virus spreads. The best course of action is to wash your hands frequently, keep your environment cleaned regularly, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
Safety is our priority. Since this is a rapidly changing situation, policies may evolve with time. As more information becomes available, we’ll update you on the precautions we’re taking in the workplace.
Please consider this as a helpful set of guidelines for the Jax design community and apply what works best for you.
Basis for This Information
Please note that board members of AIGA Jacksonville are not trained medical professionals. The basis for these guidelines comes from the CDC and the World Health Organization. For more up to date information, visit the CDC website Caronavirus Task Force. You can also view specific policies and current information about Coronavirus on WHO’s website. We advise our design community to regularly check these websites for any updates on current situation reports, travel advice, etc. Specific to the design industry, we have also researched the policies and guidelines of multiple companies who have offices domestically and abroad. We use this research to gather any additional context, tips, and insights deemed helpful.