Workplace Modification Guide - University of Houston
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Workplace Modification Guide

The following guidance is provided to all Departments and Colleges to use in evaluating and adjusting the work spaces of the University of Houston. Recommended CDC, state and local guidelines were used in the creation of the University of Houston COVID-19 Safely Returning to the Workplace Guide.

  • The University of Houston requires the use of face coverings among students, faculty and staff.  
  • Make every effort to maintain at least a six-foot distance from others (even when wearing a face covering).  
  • Hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness and sanitation should be rigorously practiced. 
  • HR has provided Guidelines for Flexibility in the Workplace, which includes a variety of possible options and alternatives 
  • Review all Workplace Prevention Guidelines here.

Common and Public Areas 

  • Building Coordinators will serve as the point of contact, communications resource and monitor for public spaces within their assigned areas of buildings.

Signage

Good Hygiene

  • Install mounted hand sanitizer stations in common areas, such as next to elevators, breakrooms, etc. 
  • Post handwashing signs in the office to remind personnel to wash with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to minimize the presence of the coronavirus.
  • Minimize the use of shared phones, devices, tools and equipment.

Requests for installation of barriers to FIXIT

  • Requests for installation of barriers to FIXIT is required for evaluation and installation to be eligible for central funding.
  • Eligibility is determined by assessing the location on factors of high traffic, common use, student servicing areas and if social distancing is achievable.

Lobby and Lounge Spaces 

  • Maintain at least six feet separation from other individuals when possible.
  • Make sanitizing stations available so visitors and guests can clean hands before entering office space where staff are working.
  • Disinfecting wipes should be provided to allow individuals to clean surfaces, as necessary. 

Conference Rooms

  • Maintain at least six feet separation from other individuals when possible.
  • Spread out collaboration seating so people are spaced further apart.
  • Encourage virtual collaboration whenever possible.
  • Disinfecting wipes should be provided to allow individuals to clean surfaces, as necessary.

Break Rooms and Copy Rooms

  • Allow one person per every 40 SF of space.  Maintain at least six feet separation from other individuals when possible.
  • Disinfecting wipes should be provided to allow individuals to clean commonly used equipment and appliances prior to use, as necessary. 
  • Stagger lunch times for employees as practicable.

Public Restrooms

  • Maintain at least six feet separation from other individuals when possible and wear cloth face coverings. 

Elevators

  • A maximum number of either four or two occupants is allowed based upon the size of the elevator.  Elevators will be posted with their occupancy levels.
  • Elevator occupants are required  to wear cloth face coverings or face masks.

Public Corridors

  • If corridors are narrow and it’s possible, assign one-way corridors.

Work Areas

Open Work Areas – Individual Workstations and Benching

  • De-densify open workstation areas, if feasible.
  • Individual workstations that are 40 SF or larger allow for social distancing and do not require modifications.
  • In situations where existing desk spacing is less than six feet apart, use every other desk to create a buffer for each person. This could be achieved by assigning some people to working from home or temporarily locating them in other areas.
  • Space employees so they don’t face each other. Consider adding partitions that are attached to the desktop.  For sit/stand desktops, the partition should move up and down with the desktop. The goal is to block potentially harmful viruses that can be transmitted by talking, coughing or sneezing.
  • Disinfecting wipes should be provided to allow individuals to clean surfaces, as necessary.

Open Work Areas – Hoteling Stations

  • Assign formerly shared desks to individuals for a full day or a week, if possible.
  • Reposition furnishings so people are separated by a minimum of six feet or a physical barrier (i.e. partition).  If no physical barrier is present, abandon cubicles or schedule use so social distancing protocols can be maintained.
  • Limit tech sharing.
  • Disinfecting wipes should be provided to allow individuals to clean surfaces, as necessary.

Private Offices and Shared Private Offices

  • At shared offices, ensure there is six feet of separation between employees.
  • If six feet of separation is not possible, consider temporarily relocating one employee to another area or alternating work days and allow telecommuting/working remotely.
  • Disinfecting wipes should be provided to allow individuals to clean surfaces, as necessary.


Teach Remotely

Deliver your classes online.
Learn About Teaching Online >>
Technology Guide for Faculty >>

Work Remotely

Make a flexible workplace arrangement.
COVID-19 Telecommuting Form >>
Technology Guide for Staff >>