The pandemic has affected work trends dramatically; thus, working in traditional offices would not be the same again. Office workers have been working remotely for more than a year now, so bringing them back to the offices means that you must prepare your work adequately enough to regain employees’ trust of working in an office rather remotely.
Workplace preparation would not be easy if you don’t know what aspects you need to recall while rearranging your workplace. Keep one thing in mind that this return to work is not like returning from some casual leave. Here, employees will be hesitant to rejoin traditional offices, so a special check is the need of the hour.
To make things easier for you, we have shared a short checklist of the most vital aspects that you need to check during your workplace preparation after Covid-19. So, let’s have a look at them!
1. Workplace Safety
Having fears associated with returning to the workplace is quite understandable in these times. So, it is vital to make the workplace environment as safe as possible. If you want to make workplace safety your top priority, you can work on certain things to make that possible. The foremost check in this regard would be the implementation of employee health screening procedures. This would help you track, contain, and alleviate the threats of any viral transmission between employees.
In addition to this, investing in personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks, face shields, etc., can help you make employees more confident in returning to their workplaces.
You should also inculcate the habit of bringing a personal hand sanitizer to promote a sense of responsibility within your colleagues and promote them to build a safe workplace environment for their colleagues. Sharing the right safety tips for office workers can be another way to prepare your workplace after Covid-19.
2. Analysis of Operational Procedures
The apt analysis of the operational procedures is vital to create an organized and controlled approach. You should understand that all employees cannot return to the workplace on the same day, as that would be quite unsafe. A phased return to work plan would be a better option in these times. You can use certain nondiscriminatory factors like seniority into consideration in this regard.
Allowing the employees who have a higher health risk to continue working from home is also a vital consideration in this regard. In addition, providing additional safety measures to such employees at the workplace is also a valid option.
3. Employee Benefits
Providing employee benefits in these times will come in handy if you plan to prepare your workplace for your employees’ return. Reviewing relaxations such as paid leave, pension plans, flexible spending accounts, and group health insurance is vital. Many companies do offer these plans to their employee, but what is required here is a detailed review of the eligibility criterion of these plans and then the relevant additions in each one to increase their coverage.
For instance, if you have a group health insurance plan, the addition of telehealth benefits and services without any deductibles in this package can be a great initiative. Companies have now even allowed the purchases of over-the-counter medical products under the flexible medical accounts plan.
So, adding that to your flexible health accounts plan permanently can be a vital choice too. You should think of adding more such employee benefits and increasing your employees' services under the pre-existing packages.
4. Remote Work
Businesses are in dire need of a flexible workspace to thrive in the post-pandemic world. Although you adopted telecommuting during the lockdown, remote work will persist in the post-pandemic world if you wish to create a safe workspace for your office workers. Remote work was not some short-term emergency tool; you have seen how businesses thrived using the hybrid work schedule during the lockdown.
Using this work schedule for your workplace preparation after Covid-19 would be a considerable option. So, what you need to do here is to allow remote work where employees are in dire need. In addition, continuing the use of staggered work hours scheme at the office and at home would help you here. Along with all that, keeping a keen check on the technological requirements is also integral here.
Last but not the least, adequate communication is a crucial requirement for workplace preparation during these times. You need to have the best communication with your employees and colleagues to build a better relationship. You are aware that communication was badly affected when the businesses faced lockdowns. So, establishing clear communication to avoid any misunderstandings at both ends is vital.
One way of doing that could be to ask the right return to work survey questions from your employees. This will give you an idea of your employees’ side and help you prepare your workplace best. Ensure that your media communication systems are well established so that there is no misinterpretation of any information. Also, guide the workers on keeping a better check of their health and hygiene at the workplace. To summarize, facilitate your employees in the best way to make this transition as smooth as possible.
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