Office Reopening after Pandemic – Employer Essentials
Some companies that had previously allowed their interns to telecommute are now bringing those workers back to the office. Employers will need to decide which safety precautions and regulations they want in place as the world continues to learn how to live with COVID-19 now that the vaccine is available and regulatory limitations have been lifted. While each company's specific plan for reintroducing employees to the workplace will appear different, all of them will need to deal with the same core concerns, address them and create a safe space to work for their employees.
As the Covid-19 takes a break, many companies have decided to reopen their office. A lot of them could have already opened them even with a relatively limited staff. Companies hold the obligation to provide a safe and healthy work atmosphere to their employees. No one would want to work for you again if you couldn't make sure the office was safe and had all the tools people need to do their jobs.
Besides the employees, there are other people who have a stake in the matter and need to know what you have planned. You can't make a promise to a client and then have a sick worker take time off, which affects the work, just because there was a flaw in the way your office reopened after the pandemic.
This article charts out practices to make sure you create a healthy work place for your team before they start coming in.
1. Get permission from Government to open the office:
First and foremost, get an idea about local policies regarding office opening. They might or might not allow opening with full capacity or for night shifts, hence, it’s always better to get this info.
2. Create a foolproof office sanitisation plan:
Once you have finalised office opening, plan out the health and other preventive measures necessary to ensure a safe workplace. Deep sanitisation is mandatory, amongst other measures like seating arrangements honouring physical distancing. Lunch area, gym and other areas of your office are equally important to take care of.
3. Document and release the new work place guidelines for employees:
With the re-opening, there would sure be new guidelines that the employees will also have to follow to maintain the safety and hygiene. These must include masking, staying away from each other, taking daily temperature, etc. of themselves. Either have a call with the team, or document everything clearly and share with the team, so they stay aware.
4. Stay transparent with your employees and get their suggestions/feedbacks:
Be clear about the new policies and protocols in place once the office reopens. In fact, get some suggestions and idea from team as well. Sometimes the best ideas come out from unpredictable sources. Involving your team would also make them feel encouraged about this move.
5. Plan for regular Mental Well Being sessions:
Develop a post office reopening health facility involving keeping people calm and de-stressed. Having monthly or quarterly mental health session from experts. This would keep the confidence and productivity up and lessen the fear from their minds.
6. Plan out calling selected team members initially:
It’s not necessary to call everyone to the office as soon as the office opens. Invite a few people or teams to the office initially, see the response and work pattern, seating, and other factors. Accordingly, you should organise for having rest of the team members over.
Even though you have the intent of calling people back to office due to business or other reasons, if possible, have those people work remotely who are :
Simply unable to come to office or
Are suffering from any medical conditions, or
May be taking care of any ill people in their family.
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