Returning to work after a bout of illness is one thing. But heading back to the workplace as a global pandemic starts to slow and the rates of infection begin to decrease is something entirely different.
The severity of the situation is something that employers need to understand. Many businesses are hanging by a thread due to months of an unprecedented trade blackout. For some, this is their last and only chance of recuperating the profits that they’ve lost and keep themselves afloat for another fiscal year. This situation means that many employers are eager to get their employees back into work as soon as possible, so they can make money and keep their employees in a job!
However, when your employees are apprehensive about returning to work amid a worldwide pandemic, how can employers reassure their staff and ultimately, keep them safe? Here we’ll explore what bosses can do to keep their employees safe.
Provide PPE equipment
The provision of PPE equipment is a simple and scientifically proven way of reducing the spread of the virus. Even if you’re asymptomatic, it’s been recommended that we wear face coverings where possible to protect the most vulnerable members of society. Therefore, your employer should provide COVID 19 PPE supplies to all their employees. This could be full-face shields, disposable gloves, face coverings, countertop shields and hand sanitising stations. Wearing PPE means that staff have an additional layer of protection from the virus.
Complete a risk assessment
Very few businesses can simply open and return to how things were. In order to keep employees and customers safe, your employer should conduct a risk assessment within their business and identify the areas that could increase the risk of infection or could become problematic. Businesses are advised to follow government safety guidelines but some changes that could be made to keep employees safe include:
- Creating one-way systems around the business
- Only permitting a certain number of staff/customers in one area at a time
- Pinpointing 1 or 2m positions on the floor to encourage distance between customers
- Additional cleaning measures throughout the premises
You can also help keep your employees and customers safe by getting corporate COVID-19 tests in your place of business. A service like Drip Hydration performs onsite COVID-19 nasal swab and antibody testing for large and small businesses, helping minimize the risk of the virus spreading through your company.
If you work for a company that allows you to conduct your duties from home, then your boss could offer flexibility and allow you to continue to do so. This option is better suited to those who work in office environments to keep the numbers in the office space down, or those who live with high-risk family members. If staff can continue to work from home, they should.
And finally, keep the lines of communication open
It’s never been more important to be able to communicate with one another. So, your boss should keep the lines of communication open during this difficult and often confusing time. If changes to legislation or advice occur, then they should be quickly implemented. If you’re worried about something, employees should be able to raise it and have the issue dealt with promptly.