Let’s face it; there is no reset button. The pandemic that put most of the world on total lockdown in 2020 changed so many lives. As we ease our way into the new normal, there is hope that someday, things will go back to the way it was. In the meantime, we move forward with additional health precautions, more resilience, and a more vital empathy for those who lost much more than time.
While some businesses survived by moving onto online platforms, others have been anticipating re-opening their physical stores such as gyms, recreation stores, retailers, restaurants, etc. These businesses that need to have the regular brick and mortar set up to generate income will bring thousands from stay-at-home setups to finally return to the workplace. It sounds easy, but some things may take some time. Here are a few tips for going back to the office after the pandemic.
1. Ask Where Your Employees Stand
Before calling everybody back to the office:
1. Make sure the company has made guidelines regarding vaccination.
2. Discuss options with employees who are not open to getting vaccinated or are unable due to medical reasons.
3. Before requiring employees to return to the office, ask if this is possible for everyone. While some businesses have resumed, schools and daycare may still be closed, leaving parents no other place for their children when they are working.
4. Check with your local municipality regarding their laws on re-opening, and make sure your policies match.
2. Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize
Make sure that the entire office has been sanitized and disinfected before asking everybody back. Prepare good hygiene products and raise awareness on adequately washing their hands and keeping their workspaces clean. That even though many have been vaccinated, this does not mean that the virus is not spreading. For larger offices, this may mean creating/installing sanitization stations to make it convenient for your employees.
3. Encourage Mental Health Check-Ups
Heading back to the physical office may bring along a mix of emotions and even anxiety. There will be sighs of relief that the vaccines are saving millions from severe covid complications and death. But at the same time, there are still fears that the vaccines may not be enough. The following months will give us better results on how effective the vaccines are; in the meantime, the rest of the world needs to keep moving forward with extra precautions set in place.
These preventive measures need to include encouraging mental health check-ups, especially those that have already recovered from the virus. Ensure that there are people that employees can talk to when they are feeling uneasy and have more group activities to help check on how employees are coping.
Communication is key for companies opening up again. Make sure that you listen to and address the concerns of both your customers and employees, but your final decision should be based on what is best for the company.
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