Slowly but surely, the lockdown measurements we quickly became accustomed to are being lifted one-by-one. With that, businesses are starting to work from their offices again – reengaging their team under the same roof, and allowing their staff the opportunity to work away from home…which has now become a novelty!
However, despite the easing of rules and social distancing, the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t yet ended, and the virus remains a very real and present public health threat. With that in mind, how to businesses strike the right balance between changing their mindset from survival to thriving whilst keeping their employees safe and happy?
There are obvious measures to be taken that don’t require elaboration: no shared desks, spaces between working areas, nobody sat opposite one-another, anybody vulnerable should remain at home. For those businesses who want to reintroduce the office environment into their regular working pattern, here are some essential steps to consider where employee safety is concerned.
Don’t rush back to being fully office based
There’s more than one reason why you shouldn’t rush straight back in to being fully office based, and both are as legitimate as the other. Firstly, with safety in mind, having a defined split between when the office is opened and when it isn’t reduces the chance of transmission should the virus find itself inside your staff bubble. Additionally, based on statistics taken from an industry wide survey conducted by Amsource, the overwhelming sentiment within the industry is that a permanent adoption of some form of remote working should be under real consideration.
Limit numbers in communal areas
Kitchens, toilets, meeting rooms – any and all confined spaces should have clearly defined capacities established, and ideally a one in one out policy in place. Being in close proximity to others vastly heightens the likelihood of transmission, so these encounters should be completely avoided.
Restrict congestion with one-way systems
Rather than having people come and go from the main office area as they please – which is fine under normal circumstances – if possible, set up a dedicated door that can be used as an entry point and another to exit, defining which direction people should move through the office to avoid loitering and crowding.
Provide sanitiser and promote hygiene
On top of regular hand washing and good general hygiene, providing staff with hand sanitiser at all entrances and exits - as well as their own bottle on their desk – allows them to combat any bacteria they may have on their hands at regular intervals. This kind of preventative and proactive measure will make staff feel safer and cared for, which will ease their transition back into the office.
Take employees individual circumstances into account
Not every employee may be able to commit to coming back into the office at this stage, and that shouldn’t be an issue if they have a valid reason to remain remote. Those who have underlying illnesses, have family at home they’re caring for or don’t want to risk exposing vulnerable members of their family to the virus inadvertently should all have their concerns heard and understood. Childcare is also a concern for the parents amongst your staff, and with schools remaining closed, that may be another telling factor.
Ready to change your businesses mindset from surviving to thriving? Amsource can help build teams and grow businesses. Get in touch to find out how we could work together.