Going Back to Work While COVID-19 is Still an Ongoing Issue
People in the United States as well as other countries around the world have not completely stopped working during this coronavirus pandemic. Some may have moved onto teleworking initially but as stay at home orders are coming to an end, more and more people are starting to return to work.
Federal and International agencies in the United States such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organizations (WHO) have been issuing guidance on making the workplace safer for employees. These are just suggested guidelines but it is imperative as employers to enforce them to ensure the safety of both employees and the future of the organization.
So what are some steps employers can take to ensure safety and peace of mind during this transition for their employees?
1. Maintain Social Distancing
Whenever possible, workplaces should have a setup where workers can maintain 6 feet apart. This is one of the best ways of prevention according to the CDC in addition to face masks and frequent hand washing. Employers should rearrange their office set up and find furniture that will allow them to work in teams while maintaining the social distance.
2. Monitor Symptoms
A key to ensuring the ongoing safety of employees is monitoring symptoms daily. A quick check in the morning prior to entering the workplace could make a crucial difference in the health and well being of everyone around. There have been applications that have started up since the beginning of Coronavirus to help organizations with this challenge. Apps like Swiff can help with the monitoring and screening which could potentially help the organization from facing financial risks.
3. Telework Option
Implementing a telework option whenever possible could also help with creating a safer environment for those that absolutely need to be at work in person. Those who have preexisting conditions and are more susceptible to having a harsher reaction to coronavirus should definitely be given the option to telework. If not there could be possible legal suits that the employee could take.
4. Mental Health Support
Supporting the mental health of employees should also be something employers to take into account. Many workers have been in isolation due to quarantine and it is up to the employer to find creative ways to help employees stay engaged and healthy mentally to prevent burnout.
5. Changes in Management
This is also the time for management to change up the ways to lead their teams. If you have employees who are working remotely or even in the office from a distance, you need to be able to track productivity without spying or making employees feel unsafe. It will be important to implement a way to track the data in productivity to ensure success of the organization without potential losses.
All of these steps taken by employers could truly help in making employees feel safe and motivated to work during this global pandemic. It is imperative to be flexible and find tools to change up the usual methods in these uncertain times.