How Workers in General Office Settings Can Defend Against Ongoing Health Risks

Although many traditionally office-based workplaces have transitioned to remote working arrangements, many employees still work out of a general office setting or coworking space several days a week.

When engaging in office-based work, employers and building managers must implement thorough cleaning and disinfection protocols to protect employees and clients from the ongoing health risks they face, including COVID-19 and similar viruses. Meanwhile, employees should take personal precautions to limit the spread of illness and defend their wellbeing.

Protecting Against Ongoing Health Risks in Commercial Buildings and General Office Environments

Employers, employees, and building managers alike face a range of challenges and questions when optimizing their office spaces to reduce the spread of illness, including:

  • How can our office-based team prepare for evolving safety procedures and guidelines?

  • How do we alleviate stress for team members working in an office during a public health crisis?

  • What are the best practices for limiting close contact with office employees, and how can we maintain social distancing in an enclosed space?

To address these questions and more, our Healthier Workplaces guidance documents offer practical advice for how employers and employees in general office settings can protect their health. The guidance borrows from the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice and expert counsel from leading health, government, and business industry organizations.

In the below “Resources By Type,” you will find our “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” and other resources to learn about:

  • The importance of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and best practices to monitor and address any IEQ concerns

  • How to arrange an office space to enable social distancing

  • Ways to safely use conference rooms while protecting against the spread of illness, including disinfection best practices

  • Proactive ways to protect employee comfort and wellbeing

  • Personal protective equipment recommendations for general office settings

  • Communication best practices to create a healthy employee feedback loop

  • Ways to safely use office shared spaces, like a kitchen or cafeteria

Additional Safety Resources for Workers in Office Environments

To access more help and resources to understand and avoid the ongoing health risks employees face in general office or shared workplace settings, we recommend you explore the following resources and networks.

Resources by Type


  • Facilities Manager

  • Facilities Net

  • Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook
    The recent pandemic has taught us many important lessons about the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, RSV, and measles in indoor environments. As a result, we must take advantage of what we have learned to help ensure our places of work are and continue to be safe places for our workers, customers, and communities. Many of the steps you can take to help keep buildings and the people in them safer and healthier are simple and effective and can be adjusted to meet the current situation or infectious disease risk that exists. In this e-book, we will walk you through the different approaches to help mitigate the risk of spreading airborne infectious diseases depending on your workplace setting.

  • Work Design Magazine