Tips to Get Back to Work After COVID-19 Lockdown
As the cases of the COVID-19 pandemic flatten, it is time for businesses and various organizations to start summoning their employees back to the office. Maintaining a healthy work environment will be a key element in ensuring your business can rise from the sudden break and sustain itself in the long run.
It is also imperative your employees do not feel overwhelmed when they return to the office. After all, they need to re-adjust to working from their desks and office space. The lockdown hasn’t been easy on anyone and it is important for companies to make their employees feel valued and welcome at work. Therefore, a smart business would have taken ample measures to ensure that their workforce is motivated and driven to take on their work with full enthusiasm and vigor as before.
Here are some OptimizeHR tips to get back to work after COVID-19 in order to get your team up and improve productivity in the workplace:
1. Plan the Settling In
With the lockdown easing up, many businesses have already put in place safety measures to protect their company and employees. Social distancing has to be maintained with desks and work stations kept at a distance of at least 6 feet from each other. Some are revamping their emergency plan to include this new pandemic for the future. If there is no emergency plan in place, this is a good time to make one for today and the future.
An emergency plan not only outlines the steps a company will take in such times, but also the measures to be undertaken for the protection of employees and businesses. It becomes the guide to follow and must include information such as measures to protect employees, emergency contacts, business operations, and any deliverable measures.
2. Rotation of Duties
The impact of the coronavirus will be here for a while. This means, businesses can no more function as before but take in the new reality in place, the ‘new normal’. This means, where is a space crunch, managers will need to organize a shift based or rotational work policy where a part of the team will function from office and the rest from home. This way, the spread can be minimized and ensure the safety of everyone.
3. Sanitization of Your Workplace
With everything going on to ensure employee satisfaction and expectation, businesses will need to fumigate and sanitize the workplace on a regular basis. Establish standard operating procedures for cleanliness and sanitation. Ensure work desk and floors are cleaned with disinfectants, stock up on hand sanitizers, issue directives and print outs suggesting washing hand techniques and using soap, make sure sick employees stay at home. These are some of the safe bet options.
4. Safety for Your Team
Remember, not all your employees will feel safe to return to work. Those who do turn up might feel a bit overwhelmed by overthinking the situation. Some might be in denial and proceed without care. All these signs must be taken up at a regular safe space talk/meet individually and assure them of the situation. Highlight the work environment is being sanitized daily, assure them they are taken care of, and create a sense of belonging by acknowledging their fears and concerns. Create a stress-busting, team building activity where they can talk about their feelings, without fear of judgement. Let this activity be non-work related as well.
5. Maintain Social Distancing
While it is important to ensure your employees remain productive, post lockdown, you will have to ensure social distancing is being maintained as part of the ‘new normal’ in running a business. The lockdown may have ended, but the disease still remains, therefore, until the time there is no advisory from medical authorities, social distancing amongst the employees has to be maintained. This also includes taking breaks and going for lunches. Stagger your employees for their break, space out the dining area, and ensure food is being handled with protective masks and gloves.
The above are some of the quick measures that can be undertaken by various businesses for the safety and security of their employees. It is important to assure employees that the work environment is safe and hygienic while at the same time acknowledge their fears. Ensuring productivity from employees can occur only when they are settled and feel secure coming to the office every day and businesses must accept the new normal and disseminate the information to their employees and keep them updated with their workplace wellness and readiness measures.