Returning to Work as a Housekeeper During a Pandemic
Whether you are interviewing for a new position or returning to work, your professional life during a pandemic is going to look a lot different these days. From taking your temperature before you leave for work to wearing a mask throughout the day, there are a number of things you can do to keep yourself and your clients as safe as possible.
- Take your temperature every morning. If it is 100.4 degrees or higher, contact your employer. Do not go to work if you have a cough, sore throat, or have had recent contact with anyone who has had Covid-19. Be aware of your clients’ sick leave policy and communicate with them clearly and often.
- When you enter the home, wash your hands! Be sure to wash your hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds using warm, soapy water (more on this later).
- If your clients work from home, make sure to clean rooms that are empty and to communicate openly with your clients about social distancing. You may end up setting a time to clean the home office while your client is away so that you are not in close proximity to each other. Steer clear of rooms where children are playing and ask the parents or childcare provider when the room will be vacant so that you can clean.
Scientific studies show that wearing a mask is one of the best things that you can do to protect yourself and others from Covid-19. That being said, we know it can be challenging for some to perform physically intensive labor for hours at a time while wearing a mask. Make sure that you are selecting the right mask for your specific needs and comfort.
- If you find that your mask is not very breathable, try using a different brand or fabric. You might notice a huge difference between the two! If you find a great mask that works for you, buy several so that you always have a clean replacement ready.
- If you often perspire while working, a disposable mask that can be thrown away or switched out throughout the day might be the best choice for you.
- Face shields are also a great alternative to fabric or disposable masks as they allow for increased airflow and attach at the forehead.
Technology is your friend!
These days, almost everyone has a smartphone that can be used in many ways to create a safer work environment:
- Set timers throughout the day to remind yourself to wash your hands regularly. Often people touch their mask or face without thinking about it. This increases the risk of exposure to germs, so it’s important to wash your hands often. You can tell your clients that this is a part of your daily work routine and they will appreciate your extra diligence.
- Skip the store and order online! Most stores now have an option for delivery or curbside pickup for just about anything that you need. Familiarize yourself with the process by practicing in your own home. As you become more comfortable ordering groceries, household supplies, and other necessities online, you can offer to do the same for your clients.
- Many Housekeepers and their clients communicate by leaving lists or notes for each other throughout the day. Move these communications to a new platform by texting or downloading apps that are created for sharing to-do items, grocery lists, or reminders. This will help you stay organized, up to date on your clients’ needs, and (best of all) free from unnecessary germs. Even if you are not very tech-savvy, many apps are user–friendly and the more you use it, the easier it will get!
The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of life, but it doesn’t have to stop you from doing your job in an environment that is as safe and comfortable as possible. As always, please feel free to reach out to your Town + Country Counselor if you have any questions or concerns about how to best protect yourself, your family, and your employers.