With the pandemic still raging around us, organizations will need to double down on precautionary measures before venturing back to the workplace. We present a definitive checklist to step into the new normal.
With the government considering an exit from the lockdown, more and more organizations are reopening in the next few weeks. However, with the virus still around us, it is equally important for businesses to maintain sanitization and hygiene in the office premises to control the risks of infection.
Here is a Definitive Checklist to Manage the Change:
1. Only Bring Back the Staff You Need
To establish a gradual return process, firms should bring employees back in a phased manner. Business leaders need to think about which teams they absolutely need to have in the office, and plan accordingly, so as to reduce health risks to employees. For example, you can call the administration team and the IT workers first, to get the workspace ready, whereas the remaining employees can be bought back in shifts in a staggered manner.
2. Ensure 24-hour Sanitization in Premises
Sanitization will be imperative at workplaces to prevent illness and maintain a clean environment. Be it a small- or a large-scale facility, it is of utter importance to sanitize the workplace in order to maintain employee health. Organizations should set up a proper sanitation plan to ensure all surfaces are cleaned on a regular basis. Moreover, sanitizer bottles should be kept around the office to ensure a safe environment for employees to work in.
3. Entrance Health Checks
Temperature checks should also be implemented for employees and visitors entering the premises. Any employee / visitor found with an abnormally high temperature must be sent home. However, before conducting temperature checks on employees, the screener should ensure the equipment itself is accurate and thoroughly cleaned after regular use.
4. Implement a Face Mask Policy
Every organization should implement a face mask policy at their workplace. The company’s head, the HR team, and the security team can decide the specifications. However, the rules need to be as specific as possible. For example: Do you want employees to wear their masks from the beginning of their shifts until they leave the office? Where should employees store masks if/when they take them off? Where can you find a new mask, in case the used one is torn or worn-off? What are the consequences of not wearing the face mask as instructed? Having a policy in place will help you maintain hygiene in an orderly manner.
5. COVID 19 Health and Prevention - Staff Education
Educate employees with information on how viruses are transmitted and help them practice healthy habits by providing tissues, gloves, masks and disposable towels. Tell the staff how wearing a face mask and maintaining hygiene can help reduce the spread of the virus, and how as an organization, you want everyone to stay safe and healthy at their workplace.
6. Arrange Medical Support
Businesses can create a workplace wellness plan to create better employee health as a company. For example,
- You can have a doctor visit your workplace during emergencies
- Provide allowance for transport if unavailable nearby
- Consider offering a rebate on health schemes/insurance, etc.
7. Show Empathy
Finally, employees are the most critical asset of every organization, and putting effort into employee wellness can encourage better teamwork and increased productivity. Moreover, by promoting a sense of togetherness and care – you not only motivate employees to perform better, but also encourage them to stay loyal to the company during difficult times.
Workplace post lockdown is likely to look very different from the phase we left behind. With different rules, purpose, structures, expectations, and goals – business leaders need to carefully manage the workplace to ensure the well-being of its employees and the community as a whole!