returning to work after coronavirus

Returning to Work After Coronavirus: Tips for a Seamless Transition

Kelly Strain | Jun 29, 2021

Safety Considerations for Onsite Workers and Employees

After months of employees working remotely, businesses are now facing a new challenge: returning to work after coronavirus. To successfully transition into this next phase of work, companies will have to think proactively, be flexible, and make the safety and well-being of the workforce their top priority. 

Some companies will remain fully remote after successfully navigating lockdown, while others will return their entire staff to the office. It is important to note that no one solution will work for every company. Companies across a range of industries will need to manage a reintroduction to office life differently.

Tips for Employers Returning to Onsite Work

So you have determined that returning to onsite work in some capacity is right for your business. What next? 

Read Up on Local COVID Safety Regulations

Stop on top of local guidelines. OSHA has recommended a phased return to work approach. Having your entire staff return to the office on the same day is not realistic. Consider implementing a phased approach where a small percentage of employees return to the office over a period of time, limiting the number of people in the workplace at once in order to maintain safe social distancing practices. 

Prepare the Workplace for Employees and Customers

It is time to revisit your physical office space and structure. Social distancing guidelines aren’t going away anytime soon, so workplaces must properly space desks apart and create appropriate barriers where needed – whether between employee desks or tables at a restaurant. Additional safety measures include: 

  • Increased cleaning
  • Limiting employee contact in common areas 
  • Providing and/or encouraging the use of face masks
  • Liming business travel to essential only  

Employers must also implement strategies for basic hygiene – encouraging frequent hand washing even if this means hiring relief for shift workers managing the cashiers, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. 

Determine Whether Select Workers Should Stay Remote

Businesses should consider making remote work available, if not for all employees, for specific business functions or those at higher risk of severe illness. This includes adults over 65 years and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions.

Craft Flexible Work Policies

With a large percentage of employees continuing to work remotely, there is a workforce transformation underway. Teams will increasingly be composed of both in-office and remote employees, more freelancers and temporary workers. Consider implementing flexible work from home and supportive sick leave policies and practices.

Tips for Workers Returning to Work After Coronavirus 

As vaccinations become widely available, plans to return to the office are surfacing. Here are a few things to consider as you navigate returning to work after coronavirus. 

Stay Home When Sick

Be alert for symptoms. If you have, think you might have, or have been exposed to COVID-19, you should stay home and isolate, whether or not you have symptoms. According to the CDC, employees should not return to work until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.

Reconsider Your Commute

When possible, avoid close contact with others on your commute to work. Do you live near your office? Consider biking or walking in. You reap the benefits of distance, fresh air and additional exercise. If you have a longer commute consider driving either alone or with other members of your household.

Monitor Your Stress Levels

The post-pandemic return to the office can be anxiety inducing and uncertain. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed or disconnected during this transitional phase. Check in with yourself and share feedback on what is working for you and what areas can be improved.

Fill Staffing Gaps with Gig Workers

During this uncertain time, staffing shortages are expected and can be remedied with temporary workers. Businesses across America are desperate for workers. As a result of the labor shortage, many companies are canceling business orders or declining last-minute projects, while others are closing their doors altogether. Whether a worker calls in sick last-minute or you are managing fluctuations in demand, temporary workers can help when you are in a pinch. 

If you are in need of workers to fill shifts (even same-day), try Get Workers. With a Get Workers account, you’ll be able to view worker profiles and reach out to any candidates that have the certifications, skills, and experience you’re looking for. You can also post your job openings on the GigSmart Job Board and attract top candidates to your business. At GigSmart, we assist you in the hiring process from start to finish to make the staffing process as painless as possible.  

Put Safety First 

Above all the health and safety of the workforce should be the top priority. Employees are counting on their companies to help them get back to work safely. Keep these tips and considerations in mind when developing your plan for transitioning back into office life. Things may not return to normal for a while, if ever, so you want to make this transition as easy and comfortable as possible for your employees.

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