7 ways to safely return employees to the workplace in Covid-19
1) Provide masks and place sanitizer throughout the premises—Including in elevators and other areas it had not been located prior to the pandemic. Simply covering elevator buttons with plastic, provides a false sense of security.
2) Limit the number of people in meetings and maintain social distancing protocols for in-person meetings.
4) Rethink in-person social gatherings. Asking employees to join in a birthday celebration in the break room can backfire with employees feeling that the employer has a complete disregard for their well-being.
5) Be flexible. Employees who are able to work remotely should have the option to continue doing so if they are uncomfortable returning to the workplace.
6) Make no exceptions to the rules. Companies should also resist the temptation to make exceptions for certain employees or executives when it comes to the guidelines they are putting forth for their employee safety.
7) Health concerns. Being close to people again, sharing office space and equipment or even working in health care settings will also heighten anxieties. You may worry about bringing home COVID or catching it on the way to work or even being close to someone you know has had it. It is a joint responsibility to ensure your safety. Employers will need to have a ‘COVID-19 Safety Plan’ and keep lines of communication open with you and offer flexible work arrangements if possible. Learn about your rights and speak up honestly if you are uncomfortable about work health & safety.
• Minimize watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 that may cause you to feel anxious or distressed and seek information only from trusted sources.
• Try and use helpful coping quarantine strategies as you return to work e.g. getting lots of rest, eating well, time out, exercise and stay in contact with family and friends.
• If your child is not enjoying change, then find ways for them to express their feelings such as play or individual special time with you doing something they enjoy. Every child has his or her own way of expressing emotions. Children will benefit if they are able to express their inner world to you and you can help them by showing them healthy ways to manage change.
• It is time to consider how you are going to reconnect with the workplace. So, take your time, talk to those who can offer helpful suggestions, and offer support and ease back into it. Review the plan when needed and most importantly, look after yourself!