As stay at home directions are subsequently withdrawn, temporary work flexibility options ceased, and as the curve is sufficiently starting to “flatten,” work and businesses are starting to get back to normal ‒ or what the “new normal” is these days.
But from an employer’s perspective, some issues need to be planned and prepared beforehand.The ability of employers and businesses to respond effectively to a post-COVID work environment all comes down to proper planning. Here are the six things every employer needs to know when returning to work post covid-19:
1. Make the workplace safe
As employees gradually start going back to work, additional safety protocols must be in place to ensure that employers could provide a safe working environment.
Apart from encouraging employees to wash their hands with soap and water, as well as asking them to wear masks, one needs to implement several COVID-19 reopening maintenance procedures to ensure the health and safety of everyone in your team.
Furthermore, the CDC recommends this office safety guide to be on top of all the important updates to ensure health and safety in the workplace.
2. Encourage good hygiene
When it comes to the workplace, overall cleanliness and personal hygiene are vital and should always be included in your company’s policies.
In fact, the people at Maid Sailors Maid Service Jersey City pointed out that every workplace needs to be hygienic, not only for the sake of the company’s reputation but for the health and safety of everyone involved. This includes your employees and client.
Proper hygiene practices, along with regular cleaning and disinfecting the workplace, are highly encouraged. The bottom line here is that no employer wants their employees to get sick in the middle of a pandemic.
3. Update policies and procedures
One of the best ways to encourage excellent workplace hygiene is to strictly implement hygiene policies and procedures that everyone should adhere to.
For instance, if an employee is feeling unwell and has cold symptoms, like sneezing, cough, fever, or just feel ill in general, they should be able to request sick leave or just work from home.
For employees who need to commute to work via public transportation and don’t have any alternatives, then you should be given the option to work from home (as long as it’s workable on their end) as a precaution.
In-person meetings in the company should also be done virtually for a while, especially when conducting interviews with possible hires.
4. Support employees’ mental health
This global pandemic has not only affected the physical health of individuals but their mental health as well. In fact, according to a poll, 44 percent of adults say that the pandemic has significantly impacted their mental health, with 19 percent saying that it had a major impact.
Some employees even say that the coronavirus outbreak is one of the most stressful times in their career. So, without a doubt, the pandemic has greatly impacted the lives of people worldwide, and its starting to take its toll.
On the brighter side, employers can use this opportunity to reduce the stigma which prevents most of their staff from getting medical help. While this isn’t an easy topic to discuss at first, starting a conversation reduces the stigma by properly educating employees.
Moreover, employee wellness programs should be used to educate people and to provide them with resources that are necessary for self-help and self-care. Bringing in a virtual therapist to address any mental health issues during these critical times could help significantly
5. Restore productivity
For business reasons, every employer knows how important it is for employees to get back to work as soon as it is permissible. Not only this impacts productivity, but the overall well-being of the employee as well ‒ mentally, physically, and financially speaking.
In other words, getting employees back to work as soon as possible is practical, because it’s a win-win. They can start earning a full paycheck again and are less likely to suffer frustrations, anxiety, and loneliness caused by the pandemic. Meanwhile, employers and managers could also greatly benefit from this productivity by driving results.
6. Encourage social interaction
There’s a lot to be said in remote work and social distancing in times of a crisis. So when discussing ideas, and brainstorming projects, it’s still highly encouraged that everyone has a form of social interaction in one way or another.
If working on a skeletal workforce or employees are still working remotely, employers can start exploring video meetings, conference lines, and other tools as an alternative.
Although changing the way things are in the workplace can be stressful, a little teamwork and social interaction with colleagues in the office are helpful coping strategies.
With what is currently happening in the world, there’s a lot of uncertainty going on. Employers need to work through ongoing issues that concern COVID-19 especially if it’s the health and safety of their employees that are involved. Moreover, evolving health and safety standards in the workplace is also crucial.
Author: Geraldine Mills