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
Pay attention to local guidelines. Most companies will require a phased approach while returning to work in person. For example, a small group of employees returns to the office first, then more gradually join as conditions become safer. Another option is a hybrid approach: most employees work from home two or three days a week, so the whole company is not present in the office on any given day. Both approaches will help offices manage social distancing and other health guidelines.
Prepare the Workplace for Employees and Customers
Social distancing guidelines can’t be solved by phased approaches alone. And what if you have to bring your employees back sooner rather than later? It’s time to consider your office space. Are employee desks or tables spaced out? Do you need to purchase barriers to place between employees or in front of a cash register? There are many ways to make your workplace safer for employees and customers.
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, then 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, as well as 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
Vaccination makes it possible for many to finally return to the office again. Here are a few things to consider as you navigate returning to work after coronavirus.
Stay Home When Sick
Do not go to work if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other illness). If you do believe you have COVID-19 (whether you have just been exposed or are showing symptoms), stay home and quarantine yourself until you have been tested. Follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine or isolation, and do not return to work until you discuss with a doctor.
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. Do not be surprised if you feel elevated levels of stress during this period of change. 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. Some businesses are not able to keep up with the customer demand as both customers and workers accustom themselves to a post-pandemic world. 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
The safety of your workforce should be your first consideration during this transition. These tips will serve as a starting point for your office return plan, but always keep your employees’ safety and comfort in mind while coming back to work.