Most of the world has been working from home for the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has certainly had some benefits for both businesses and employees. Many businesses find that it was the push they needed to finally realize the benefits of remote working. And employees enjoying more time at home with their families and no lengthy commutes in the morning. But it hasn’t all been great. Many people hoping to get back to work and spend time with their employees in a normal routine. Now is the time for businesses to develop COVID-19 measures to put in place
If you run an office environment and are preparing for a return to working in the office, here are some key things to keep in mind.
COVID-19 Vaccines and Testing
COVID-19 can spread rapidly in an office environment. For that reason, it’s worth considering whether it’s actually necessary to bring employees back right now, or whether working from home can continue to work for the employer and the employees for a while longer. It may be worth considering continuing remote working until all employees have had the COVID-19 vaccine. That will make sure that everybody has a negative test before returning to the workplace.
Part-Time Office Hours
After almost a year of working from home, it’s unsurprising that many employees are going to need some time to adjust to being back in the office again. And, having everybody return altogether could pose a bigger risk of the virus spreading among employees. Instead, it’s a good plan to have people return to the office on a part-time basis while working from home on the other days. This allows you to stagger the return to work and have less people in the office at any one time. It will also give employees some time to adjust.
Encouraging social distancing in the office should be a priority from the start. Do everything you can to make sure that all employees have enough room to keep at least six feet away from one another. This might involve moving desks around or converting other rooms into office rooms so that employees can spread out more. Plexiglass Sneeze Guards can also be very useful as a protective barrier between offices. That will be especially true where keeping physical distance between workers might be difficult.
All it will take is for one employee to get COVID-19! From there, the rest of the office could quickly become infected and will need to self-isolate. It’s important to have a solid policy in place that employees can follow if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19. You can also help by checking temperatures as employees arrive at work. Often, a higher-than-normal temperature that might not yet be noticeable to the person could be an early warning sign of COVID-19. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Allow any employees with suspected symptoms to work from home until their symptoms have gone away or they have received a negative test result.
Although office workers have managed better than many expected with working from home this year, many businesses and employees want to get things back to normal as soon as possible. Taking the appropriate measures to keep everybody safe and healthy is important if you are planning a return to the office soon.