Wearing a mask is now something that isn’t only associated with health workers. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, the WHO continues to push for the need to maintain social distances, handwashing, and wearing masks in public spaces to flatten the curve. This is especially important as many countries and states are beginning to reopen their economies and workspace. If your business is one of those reopening, and you’re wondering if masks are really necessary, in this article, you’ll learn the pros and cons of wearing masks in the workplace
Pros of Wearing Masks in the Workplace
- Protect Employees and Clients
During this pandemic, wearing of masks is essential for every worker who meets and interacts with people daily. This is even more crucial for client-facing employees like assistants, technicians, and front desk officers. As COVID-19 can be asymptomatic, and is spread through droplets shed when speaking, sneezing or coughing, a mask can prevent the spread of the virus. Thus, wearing masks in the workplace protects your employees and clients from getting the virus when interacting with each other. And consequently, it enables your business to run smoothly as staff won’t be out sick, or clients avoid your company.
- Flatten the Curve
As of 24th June 2020, there are over 160K confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia. Scary as it is, the cases aren’t only in Atlanta but spread across the states in places such as Buckhead and Midtown. There is no 100% safe place, and if you do not follow laid out procedures for protection, these cases will only rise. When your employees and clients wear masks in your workplace, there’s a positive ripple effect in the community. With everyone wearing masks, the possibility of spreading the disease reduces exponentially, which lowers the number of cases and thereby flatten the disease curve statewide.
Cons of Wearing Masks in the Workplace
- Risk of Contamination
As protective as masks can be, getting contaminated by them is easy. Coronavirus can get trapped in the mask when worn for long hours, and the wearer can get infected when taking it off. Furthermore, some workers may wear infected masks home, and risk infecting their families. However, you can prevent this by providing enough masks and disposal units that will enable your staff to change their masks at regular intervals.
- Communication Barrier
Speaking through a nose mask can be challenging as words can sound muffled, and confuse the other party. Besides words, facial expressions such as smiles, which are important for effective communication in the workplace, are covered. With a face mask on, your clients may miss out on the messages conveyed by your employees through facial expressions, and vice versa.
Wearing of masks at work is vital in curtailing the spread of COVID-19. Although there are some disadvantages, the pros outweigh the cons. Masks wearing, in addition to other safety measures, can help you run a disease-free business during this pandemic. So, you should ensure your employees wear masks in the workplace, and encourage your clients to put on a mask when visiting your business.