Your FAQs for returning to work — when you’re ready to return to work or already returned, let’s do it safely

Although we are providing you this information, please note that Monash Health’s stance on working from home remains the same; if you can work from home, you must continue to do so. You may only return to the workplace once the Victorian Government Public Health Order is lifted, your manager has completed a risk assessment and developed a plan for your safe transition back into the workplace.

To assist you, we have created a ‘Returning to the workplace safely’ section on our employee website, with many helpful resources for both employees and managers. These can be consulted when it is time to return to work, or if you have already returned to work, or remained on-site throughout.

The most important thing to remember is whichever stage you are in for returning to work; you do it safely.

Below we have outlined some common questions; however, you can view a complete list of FAQs.

Frequently asked questions

Are teabags safe to use if not individually wrapped in communal kitchens and areas?

Individually wrapped tea bags and coffee are now available for ordering in iProc; please check your supplies in communal kitchens and areas and place a new order for individually wrapped tea bags.

In communal kitchens, is everyone using the milk for tea and coffee considered sharing food?

Milk in a communal kitchen is not considered sharing food. Hand hygiene before and after using the communal kitchen and the milk is important to keep everyone safe.

Will disposable crockery and cutlery be provided in all areas?

The cafeteria areas and infectious patients will be using disposable crockery and cutlery. For your safety, consider bringing crockery and cutlery from home to work and wash immediately after use with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly, and store in a plastic bag with your personal belongings. You may also wish to bring disposable cutlery and crockery from home to work every day but ensure it is appropriately sealed and disposed of after use.

Should users of meeting rooms be required to wipe down the furniture at the end of the meeting?

We are recommending avoiding face-to-face meetings and instead utilise Webex. If you must meet in a room, then physical distancing is required with a maximum meeting duration of two hours. Hand sanitiser must be provided at the meeting, and the meeting room table wiped when you are finished. Always remember, the main activities that will maintain your safety are practicing correct hand and personal hygiene and physical distancing before, during, and after the meeting.

Should we remove communal dishcloths and tea towels from shared kitchen areas and replace them with single-use only?

Disposable hand paper towels are preferred for communal kitchens. Discuss with your manager replacing cloth items in the communal kitchen with paper towels. These items can be ordered on iProc. Alternatively, you can use personal tea towels and dishcloths; however, these items will need to be stored with your personal belongings and changed daily.

Are we recommending to wipe down the printer or photocopier after each use?

We recommend you practice hand hygiene before and after the use of shared peripherals, which includes photocopiers and printers. Your manager and the team may decide to add more frequent cleaning of high use equipment and document this on your cleaning schedule.

How often do I need to clean my workstation, what should I use and which items do I need to clean?

Your manager will discuss with you the recommended cleaning regime and product for your personal workstation, documented guidance is available (Returning to the Workplace Safely – Cleaning your workstation). As a general rule at the start and end of every day, you will wipe down your desk, keyboard, devices, mouse, screen and any other surface you have contact with during your workday. Note that hot-desks will require cleaning at the start and end of each use. Hand hygiene is essential before and after cleaning your workstation and documenting you have completed your cleaning by entering you name/signature, date and time on the Cleaning Record Sheet available in Returning to the Workplace Safely.

Are cleaning products for workstations available in WINC?

Winc is replaced by iProc. Cleaning products are available via iProc, and order numbers are available on the Infection Prevention intranet page.


Don’t forget to download our ‘returning to work safely’ posters and resources for your wards, noticeboards, offices, and communal areas. Please check back regularly as advice may change over time to align with the latest guidance from the government and health authorities.

Approved by Karen Lowe, Executive Director, People & Culture on 15 July 2020

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