Manage social distancing at work with a simple traffic light system

Face to face interaction used to be so much more straight forward.

Long gone are the days when the most you had to debate was whether a courteous nod, handshake or, in some industries, an air kiss was the acceptable greeting.  Now, thanks to covid-19, there are so many more considerations: Do you bump elbows?  Do you keep a mask on?  Is it ok to stand less than 2m away?  What is acceptable for some makes others’ anxiety levels soar, depending on their personal circumstances.

There is light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the development of three effective vaccines. It’s fantastic news but, after an extended period away from the office or events, the idea of returning and being close to others outside of their bubble could be fear inducing for many.

How can you communicate these feeling without stirring emotions or upsetting office politics?  It can be difficult enough to have these conversations with friends and family.  With employers, workmates and business contacts, it’s potentially even trickier.

What you need is an easy way for colleagues to communicate what they are comfortable with, in a subtle and discrete way.  Colour coded bands or lanyards could be the answer.

A traffic light system denotes the level of contact an individual is comfortable with e.g.

RED: No contact. Please keep at least 2m from me.  Please email or phone me.

AMBER: Cautious. I’m happy to chat from a distance but please don’t touch. 

GREEN: Relaxed. I’m happy for face to face chats, fist pumps and elbow bumps.

This has several advantages.

  • The management team can gauge the mood and general wellbeing of the workforce, which could help with HR decision making.
  • Employees and event delegates feel more in control of their environment, helping with the transition back into the workplace or face to face events.
  • Difficult/stressful/personal conversations can be avoided, creating a comfortable workplace/event atmosphere.
  • Lanyards and bands can be branded with your company or event logo, showing to the wider public that you are taking extra care of your employees’/delegates’ needs.

Mass immunisation is expected to be completed by Easter 2021.  That’s still at least five months where social distancing is on the agenda.

Emotions and attitudes around covid-19 are complex, diverse and often difficult to articulate.  You can make it easier.  LS Branding is here to help.

For more information about colour coded bands and lanyards, contact Liz Senior at Tel: 01952 850120