Sitting in front of his computer, Andrea is happy. “We breathe! It’s liberation”, rejoices this man, an office smile on his face, discovered for the first time in many months. As in all companies, the employees of this IT consulting company in Aubagne (Bouches-du-Rhône) were able to wear their masks on Monday March 14, 2022. This is part of the changes in the health protocol for the fight against Covid-19 .
>> Covid-19: wearing a mask, health pass… Here are the rules that no longer apply from this Monday
Andrea sees only advantages in lifting the obligation to wear a mask in the workplace. “It’s less dehumanized, there is no more irritation in the mouth or ears with the rubber bands, when the colleague opposite speaks to us we have no trouble hearing what he is saying because it was disabling…, he lists. We were looking forward to that.”
Laura, the executive assistant who works in the next room, doesn’t have a mask either. “We will be able to exchange because we have a two-hour break and, alone, it’s long enough”, she welcomes. She felt isolated in her office and is happy to be able to reconnect with her colleagues.
“We will be able to exchange, discuss … It will be good to find this freedom that we had before.”Laura, executive assistant
For Laura, who arrived in the company a short time ago, it is also an opportunity to discover the faces of her colleagues. “I had seen that some of them had beards, but it’s true that it’s changing! I see their faces, their smiles, the facial expressions… It’s really nice.”
No question of forgetting the Covid-19 epidemic, however. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, as on a national scale, the number of contamination is increasing again. The incidence rate, which fell below 600 cases per 100,000 inhabitants at the beginning of the month, has thus risen to 652. Caution is therefore still required in this company, especially during interventions with customers, explains Laurent. “In intervention with customers, we will keep it since many are in the medical field. We will always ask others if they want us to put on the mask or not.”
In the company too, not everything is completely back to normal. “We will maintain ventilation, barrier gestures … but at least it gives us one less thing. We feel a little freer thanks to that.” No kisses or handshakes to greet each other either. Without forgetting the hydroalcoholic gel, always available near the coffee machine.