Over the past year, a series of government-mandated closures have meant that many small businesses began operating from employee’s homes – providing them with safety and security as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. However, whilst you should spend time investing in new technology that enables them to work from home with ease, you should also be putting plans into place for when they can return to the office or workspace.
For example, you need to demonstrate that their health and safety is a clear priority. Here’s how you can do just that!
Don’t Rush The Process
It is clear that working from home is very different to working within the office, and as a result, you may have noticed a dip in productivity or employee efficiency during this time. This means that you may be itching to return to your workplace as soon as possible. However, this may not be the most practical solution. As a result, you should put a plan in place that allows employees to retransition into office working gradually.
For example, you should not bring all of your office personnel into the space at once – allow for flexible working that allows some employees to continue working at home for the time being. This means that your workspace will not feel overly crowded, and you can continue to practice social distancing.
Focus On Health And Hygiene
Another way you can provide your employees with peace of mind during these difficult times is to ensure that they have easy access to products to maintain personal hygiene at work. This could include:
- Hand sanitiser
- Handwashing facilities
- Antibacterial wipes
- Disinfectant spray
- Face masks
- Social distancing barriers
- PPE disposal bins
- Social distancing signs and decals
You should encourage all employees to take personal responsibility for their work station, ensuring that they keep it as clean as possible by using the equipment provided to them. However, you should also arrange for more frequent and thorough cleaning across the premises – perhaps by hiring an external cleaner.
Listen To Them
Too often, employees feel as though their thoughts and feelings are not taken into consideration by their employers. This means they can quickly become disinterested or unmotivated when at work. However, now more than ever, it is important that you take time out of your day to listen to your employees and answer any questions that they might have. They may well feel nervous or even scared to return to the office, so you must assure them that you have put all of the necessary steps in place to take care of them. Taking a personal interest in your employees is a great way to help them return to the office.
Make it clear that you do not expect too much from them at this challenging time, as they may well be dealing with a range of issues outside of work. Thank them for their patience, determination and grit. This appreciation and care is a great way to improve their mental and physical health and boost employee productivity.