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Lockdown 4.0 is upon us. The rules have been relaxed in multiple districts, and there is a gradual acceptance that we have to co-exist with the Coronavirus for the foreseeable future.
One of the earliest signs of this reality began with the entry of house help, drivers, gardeners, and other service providers to our homes.
The Better India caught up with Shagun Singh, Director-Business Development, Homework by AM Services 24×7 Pvt. Ltd, a company offering complete home maintenance solutions for homes in Delhi/NCR, for some tips on how you and your housekeeping staff, can stay safe and healthy.
1. Stock Up on Masks and Gloves
While most apartments and condominiums are now insisting that anyone entering the premises must wear a mask and gloves, there might be some who do not follow through. You must insist that this is strictly followed.
“Offer your house help, and other staff members, a fresh mask every day. Surgical masks work just fine,” mentions Shagun.
In case your domestic help is working in and around the kitchen, then they must wear surgical gloves.
Here, be very careful of fire hazards, and also ensure that the gloves are disposed of in an appropriate manner after being used.
2. Practise Social Distancing
Not just outside, practice social distancing even within your home. Anyone who is entering from outside must be asked to wash their hands up until the elbow with soap and water before doing anything else. Additionally, while giving instructions to your house help or driver, try and maintain a reasonable distance.
“Avoid being in the same room as your house help as much as possible. If that’s not possible then at least try and maintain some distance,” advises Shagun.
3. Keep Sanitising Surfaces
As we slowly return to our regular lives, the flow of visitors to our homes will also increase. This is why it is crucial for us to keep cleaning and sanitising all open surfaces, including the doorbell, doorknobs, handles, kitchen countertop, light switches, and faucets. Keep a cloth wipe and disinfectant handy for this purpose.
Also, encourage anyone stepping into your home to remove their footwear outside, wipe their feet on the mat and then enter.
4. Maintain Personal Hygiene and Encourage it
“Lead by example,” says Shagun. Wash your hands every few hours, and encourage your staff to do so too by reiterating the need and significance of maintaining good personal hygiene.
For those members who will be involved in home cleaning activities, it is recommended they use latex gloves, which are durable in the long run. These gloves can be washed every day and hung out to dry.
5. Regular Temperature Checks
Some apartment complexes conduct a temperature check when staff members enter for work each day. In case yours doesn’t, you could do this in your personal capacity. In case you find a staff member unwell, please do ask them to return home and rest until they feel better. If the symptoms persist, you must also encourage them to get tested for COVID-19.
Adding to this, Shagun says, “Most apartments are now only allowing one help per house, and if this is true of where you stay, please make sure you help around the house with work so that your staff member is now overwhelmed with the quantum of work.”
In conclusion, Shagun says, “Be kind to your staff. They are as scared as you (or perhaps even more) of the COVID-19 pandemic. Take care of them as much as possible.”
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)