How to Prepare for a Safe Return to the Workplace

June 11, 2020
How to Prepare for a Safe Return to the Workplace

As companies begin cautiously welcoming employees back to the workplace, it’s important both employers and employees are prepared for what that really means. We share key considerations both should evaluate to help provide a safe working environment for all.

For Employers

Monitor and Maintain a Healthy Workforce

For employees to feel comfortable returning to the office, employers should make them feel like their health is of utmost importance. That means encouraging workers to stay home when sick and establishing an open line of communication to discuss health concerns moving forward. Enlist their input when it comes to creating a more inclusive, thoughtful return-to-work plan — and be flexible. After all, guiding your staff openly and empathetically is essential for a successful transition, and can have a positive impact on company culture.

Create Safe Workspaces

Providing employees with distanced workspaces, masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment aligned with CDC health and safety recommendations will enforce the message that you care about your workers’ well-being. In fact, a new product designed to help businesses safely reopen, Collective Go, shows that the use of masks and social distancing can lower the risk of workplace outbreaks to below five percent. Additionally, posting guidelines throughout the space helps reinforce ways for workers to protect themselves and keeps health top of mind.

Minimize Contact

Staggering return dates, incorporating alternating schedules and other strategies for your team can help minimize contact and ease them back into the office comfortably. Continuing with virtual meetings and video conferences — even with everyone in the office — also keeps with social distancing recommendations.

For Employees

Prepare for a Coronavirus-era Office

Work as you remember it is a thing of the past — at least for now. As your get ready for your first day back in the workplace, expect some changes and accept your role in keeping you and your colleagues safe.

Protective Equipment, Social Distancing and More

Many office buildings and employers are requiring employees to wear masks while walking freely in public spaces. While others, taking a more cautious approach, may ask staff to take their temperature at the start of the work day. And touch-less entries, limited elevator rides and sterile workspaces have been adopted in offices throughout the the U.S. But for all of these new safety measures to be effective, employees must do their part to follow them. Wash your hands often, stay six-feet-apart from colleagues and refrain from sharing office materials.

Remain Cognizant of Your Health

The time of work martyrdom is over. If you’re feeling ill, resist the urge to power through in the office and stay home. The health and safety of your coworkers is dependent on it. High-risk professionals and those who are fearful of possible exposure should discuss these concerns with their employer. Many businesses are following CDC and OSHA-recommended guidelines, and are encouraging transparency with workers in discussing health-related matters. In some cases, workers are entitled to protected time off and pay, if appropriate. And employers are more open to accommodating workers on an individual-basis.

For more career advice or help with staffing during this transitional period, contact our recruiters today.

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