Recent restrictions by authorities to quell the spread of the pandemic continue to take a toll on businesses. However, discussions and attempts to reopen enterprises are restoring the hope of most entrepreneurs as well as employees who are eagerly waiting for things to return to normalcy.
As you consider returning to work, the safety and welfare of your employees will be a priority. It is a fact that recovering your losses and returning your business to profitability after this crisis is paramount, but that should not be at the expense of your workers. Remember that your employees are an asset, and you will need them as you resume operations to achieve set goals and grow your operations.
For that reason, you should provide a safe environment for your employees to return to as you reopen your firm amidst the prevailing uncertainties. Below are a few safety tips you should consider adopting as part of your return to work strategy.
1. Discourage Sharing
Cultivating the right culture at the workplace is a necessity, and one of the ways to achieve that is by encouraging hospitality through sharing. Unfortunately, your employees should avoid the temptation to behave as usual when returning to work if you want them to be safe. As such, asking employees to bring beverages, food, silverware, and even napkins from home if they are unavailable at the office may be necessary.
Discouraging workers from using lunchroom resources available at the workplace is also one of the ways you can keep them safe. It is worth noting that you cannot afford to take chances regarding the welfare of your employees. The implication, in this case, is that making some sacrifices now may be uncomfortable, but inevitable because it will promote workplace safety.
2. Assume Responsibility For Your Employees
As much as you need your entire workforce to return to work as you resume operations, you cannot afford to put the lives of such individuals at risk. So, ask sick employees to stay at home. On the same note, advise workers who may fall ill at work to notify their superiors immediately so they can allow them some time off. Maintaining a clean environment in-house and remaining cautious should also be a priority over this period.
A clean office will safeguard the health of your employees, and you can achieve that by prioritizing wiping down surfaces before use. Also, remind your workers of the need to minimize physical contact because it will lower or avert the risk of infection among them over this period.
3. Consider Safe Distancing
Part of the reasons behind the surge in the adoption of open office plans in the past is the need for collaboration among workers and as a way of enhancing transparency. The problem is that working in closely-knit groups is not going to be viable as you resume operations today because of the health risk it poses.
Some companies indeed have the luxury of space, while others do not. Whichever the case, you need to find ways of maintaining distancing in the office before reopening your premises. The preferable distance between one employee and the other as you return to work is at least a 6-feet radius.
That means that modifying workspaces, rewiring workstations, and moving tables to create space in-between, are some of the adjustments you will need to make beforehand. Additionally, if your employees operate in a large work area with a grouping of small tables at the center of a room, you can move the tables to the walls. Ensure you space the workstations accordingly to keep your workers safe.
4. Create Barriers
Although the closed office plan was quickly fading away, implementing temporary measures to separate employees’ spaces will be a necessity. For instance, if you cannot move furniture to separate employees, you should consider erecting barriers.
Creating cubicle-like separation between office desk gaps using large pieces of wood or cardboard is one solution. Doing so will give workers the assurance that you mind their safety, and such cubicles become a viable option in this case.
5. Emphasize The Need to Minimize Contact
Resuming your office operations and safeguarding your workers at the same time will be somewhat different after this crisis. Face-to-face interactions with co-workers and clients will no longer be a priority. So, employees might as well forget handshakes, hugs, meet-ups, and office parties until such a time when it is appropriate to engage in such physical contact.
Also, encourage workers to eat at their desks rather than from lunch or break rooms. Shutting down common areas where possible will be prudent, and if it is not applicable for your firm, consider reducing the seating available in such spaces. Doing so will minimize contact among your employees.
Minimizing physical contact as you resume office operations at such a time as this is a deliberate decision. As such, the cooperation of every individual within your office premises regarding reducing contact for safety reasons will be paramount.
The welfare of your employees partly depends on the operations of your enterprise. The success of your firm, on the other hand, relies on the input of your workers, among other factors. So, separating your employees from your company activities is almost impossible. That is part of the reasons why recent cessation of movement because of the prevailing crisis has hurt various businesses.
You also need to appreciate the fact that the future of your organization will largely depend on the decisions you make today concerning resuming office operations. Your wellbeing and that of your staff will be fundamental in determining the period it will take for your firm to recover from the impact of this pandemic.
Adopting the tips above prepares your organization for a bright future beyond the present uncertainties.
Platinum Group is a full service human capital management (HCM) resource that allows businesses to manage their payroll, benefits compliance, time tracking and attendance, as well as other various human resources functions, in a way that maximizes efficiency and eliminates redundancies. This is accomplished by means of the platform, iSolved. For more information about Platinum Group, or to schedule a demo of iSolved, please visit our website.