It’s not easy to answer the question “when shall we go back to work?” Everyone’s experiences have been different during lockdown and we each have our own views on how to move forward. Some are keen to get back to the office and resume life as ‘normal’ but others are not so sure. With talk of a second spike it really makes for a difficult decision.
The good thing at this stage is to start talking about it. Gauging how staff feel, reviewing how the business has managed with home workers and identifying any necessary changes that need to be made.
We have decided upon a phased return, giving the opportunity to those that are keen to come in and allowing those that are not so keen more time to work from home. Having fewer members in the office will assist with the 2m social distancing guidelines and keep the risks of transmission to a minimum.
Of course, if staff are going to return to the workplace there are protective measures to be put in place.
- First discuss with staff about returning to the workplace, this can include sending out a questionnaire ahead of your discussion so that staff can start to think about the points you will talk about.
- Draw up a COVID-19 Risk Assessment. Identify who will be at risk, what control measures can you put in place to eliminate or reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- Discuss the Risk Assessment with staff and let them have a copy.
- Put measures in place, provide washing and cleaning supplies, relevant PPE and create new processes such as a one-way system around the office, marking out work station spaces to keep 2m distance and identify how to deal with incoming deliveries and visitors.
- Record any significant findings and review and improve your plans along the way.
Whatever route you take, we do wish you well and hope that we can all navigate our way to wellness, safety and success in the very near future.