How to Help Your Employees Return to Work After COVID-19
May 29, 2020
As COVID-19 begins to slow down, we are also faced with the inevitable task of returning to work. However, there are many things employers should consider to keep their team safe as we return to a new normal. We put together some tips to help guide your process of returning to the workplace post-COVID:
Listen to Your Team
Before you even begin assembling your plan, you should be open to listening to your team. Not everyone has the same situation. Some may be ready and dying to go back into the workplace. Others may need to continue working from home or refrain from working for the time being - in consideration of their own or others' health. Take into account what are your team's needs and concerns, and how you can help accommodate them.
Make a Plan & Communicate It
Unfortunately, even as cases decrease, returning back to our day-to-day lives won't be like flipping a switch. We have to consider new obstacles our team may face. To do so, an organized plan should be created to help guide and protect them.
Creating a task force can help keep this organized and focused. It will also provide a specific team of people for employers to voice their concerns to.
Your plan should consider:
-The information and advice provided by your local government and public health officials.
-Who is comfortable and able to come into the workplace?
This will help you understand how many people will be in your workplace and if you can safely keep physical distancing measures. Even as you return, you should also maintain a list each day of who was in your workplace. If someone does contract COVID-19, you will clearly know who may have been in contact as well.
-How will you implement this return?
To help maintain physical distancing and reduce the number of employees in, it may be best for you to stagger or schedule different days for when people or select teams come in. For example, splitting your team into two or three teams that alternate which days they are in.
-How will you communicate this plan and other information with your team?
You may also need to provide new updated information down the road or additional information from your building. Whether it's a newsletter or dedicated chat group, there should be a way for your whole team to get the information they need.
Safe Workplace: Physically & Mentally
Even if your team is ready to return to the work post-COVID, you should ensure it is safe for them to return, and continue returning to. This may mean hiring cleaners to professionally clean before returning. Even if your premises have not been entered since March, it will help ease everyone and provide peace of mind that they are in a safe workplace.
It will also be helpful to have hand sanitizer, masks, cleaning supplies available to keep your team protected and to disinfect their stations after they are done. Having signage can help encourage coughing and sneezing etiquette, good hand-washing hygiene and physical distancing.
You should also remind your team that they should only return to work if they feel healthy; they should not come into work if they feel unwell or have symptoms such as fever or cough.
Similarly, you should check in and communicate with your employees regularly to see how they are doing mentally. This has been a unique, unprecedented, and for some, stressful time. Check in with them to make sure they are still comfortable returning to work and to see how they are adjusting to this return.
For more information, check out our safety tips for your business during Coronavirus.
On June 4, 2020, our Foxquilt team will also be providing their own practical business advice on "How to Take Advantage of Our New Virtual World" from an HR, Marketing, Finance, Tech and Leadership perspective in this virtual event. There are a limited number of online spots available so RSVP today!
Returning to work post-COVID will have its hurdles and challenges as we all adapt to this new world. But whether it's your team, the small business community or the local neighborhood around you, we are all in this together. If you have additional tips on returning to work after COVID-19, feel free to comment below. We're happy to share them with the rest of our community.
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