Health has never been a more important issue than it is for employees now. No one wants to get sick just by going to work and doing their job. And yet, that has been a real possibility for workers lately. As many companies wish to make the switch back from forced remote work to bring staff back to the office, they’re finding increased resistance in doing so. Many employees have found that, despite furloughs and reduced salaries while working from home, they’re spending less and saving more. Also, the commute is becoming less desirable when it seems unnecessary now.
Mixed into the above concerns and feelings from employees is the need to provide a Covid secure work environment to return to. Otherwise, it’s an even tougher sell. This article covers how you can ensure your workplace is as safe as possible.
First Steps to Achieve a Covid Safe Environment
The company needs to take some essential first steps to encourage employees to return to the office environment despite some initial resistance. Suggestions like temperature checks for everyone entering the building – while maintaining social distancing when queuing up and inside the building too – are essential. Wiping down contact surfaces to avoid the spread of potential disease through touch is important too. Have staff wipe down their work areas at the beginning and end of their workdays. Use disinfecting wipes, like those from uniwipe, to make it quick and painless to do regularly. Wipes from uniwipes are proven to be highly effective against the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
Maintain Vigilance After Reopening
Even after reopening and doing some initial checks, which may or not include a recent Covid-free test, vigilance is important to maintain. Managers and staff must stick to the policies regarding distancing, mask-wearing, and cleaning to avoid spreading the coronavirus inside the office. Also, any sign of potential illness needs to be addressed immediately. This includes letting employees know that they have to inform their manager if a colleague appears to be sick.
Should All Employees Be Vaccinated?
Opinions on vaccinations vary depending on the person. Some companies have previously made the call to let employees work from home until they’ve been vaccinated with at least one jab. For the types of vaccinations that require two jabs, then it’s another decision whether to restrict office access to only people who’ve had both jabs and there has been enough time beyond that for it to take effect. Other companies feel like vaccination is not necessary to return to the office.
WFH Policy for Vulnerable People
It might be advisable for potentially vulnerable people to continue to work from home. This way, they’re less likely to get sick from Covid. Such a policy might include employees who are over 50, or those with respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma, or something related.
When adopting such a policy, companies must consider what this means in terms of performance. For instance, virtual meetings will be the only type possible, even with potential clients.
While some employees are reluctant to give up the temporary benefits of a WFH policy, most will accept that the company needs them to return. However, to be more convincing, the business must confirm all the steps that have been taken (and will continue to take) to protect them from Covid-19. Nothing less will do.