Covid-19: 7 Helpful Ways to Keep Your Employees Safe while Returning Back to Works
As states begin to reopen after months of being in quarantine, businesses all over the country are in the process of restarting regular operations. Reopening can lead to many stress factors for both employees and the employer. Here are 7 helpful ways that an employer can help ease the transition from working at home to going back into the workspace.
- Setting up a socially-distanced workspace:
Creating an atmosphere that allows employees to practice social distancing is key. Social distancing is an effective way of minimizing risk of spreading the Coronavirus. Some ways companies can ensure that staff maintain social distancing within the workspace is setting up workstations six feet apart, creating ways to avoid traffic jams and setting up protocols to support distancing (such as allowing only one person in the bathroom at a time.)
- Implement sanitizing protocols:
Ensure employees that disinfecting and sanitizing protocols are in place. Work spaces should be deeply sanitized each evening, bathrooms being cleaned after each use, and high touch points being cleaned throughout the office hourly. Making sure that these protocols are executed within the workspace will not only limit spread, but is a great way to ease tensions employees may have when it comes to returning back.
- Creating a health check in:
It’s a fact that social-distancing is a great way to minimize risk, but a health check is another considerable way to keep employees secure. As staff comes back to work, employers should follow standard guidelines to keep the workspace safe. Regulations such as having employees get tested for the coronavirus before coming back to work as well as getting their temperatures checked before entering the building. Providing employees with personal protective equipment (PPEs) such as masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, etc, can help employees feel comfortable and safe.
- Allowing for flexibility in returning to work:
Being flexible lets employees know that coming back into work is an option. This allows them to make the choices that are right for their situation, and in return you will receive a more engaged and relaxed team member that will be able to produce. If they choose to return, let them know that they are able to leave the premises if they suddenly feel uncomfortable. This gives employees the knowledge and security that they are able to leave whenever feeling discomfited.
- Clear and regular communication to keep them informed:
Strong communication between an employer and their employees is a must, especially during these circumstances. Keeping your employees informed regularly and proactively to address concerns and ease stress is critical. In these conditions, it is beneficial to encourage and collect employee feedback. If communication is well built, employees will feel comfortable with expressing their concerns and comments about what’s going on. Strong communication will allow an environment where they can feel comfortable and engaged.
- Helping Employees transition to new workspace:
It is important to help your employees with tools that could be useful during this transition. Setting up programs such as a crisis fund or a child care assistance program can help your employees during this unprecedented time. If there is a situation where your employees cannot return to work, or only a limited number are returned to work, providing a home office allowance is a great option. The allowance can include things like covering costs for adding a workspace in their home, adding a desk, or setting up an environment that will allow them to work productively. It also can cover costs for alternate childcare or help at home with daily house tasks so that they can balance the demands of work and home. These programs can help significantly with easing the process of working from home.
- Showing consideration and support:
Especially important in these times, showing consideration and support can build your employer/employee bond. Letting employees know how much they mean to the company and that you are always there to help with any situation is crucial. Showing your concern/care helps ease the transition during this stressful time. In turn, employees that feel that support will feel motivated to stay engaged and work towards the objectives at hand.
During these tough times there is a high level of uncertainty with what will come in the future. If your company is beginning the transition back into the workspace, we wish you good luck. We hope that these tips can help your company ease the transitioning process with your employees. Stay safe!