As a society, on the whole, we’ve adapted to the pandemic incredibly well. Now that things are returning to a version of ‘normal,’ businesses are wondering how they can best protect their workforce from descending into pandemonium as we all work towards settling into a new normal.
So, without further ado, let us take a look at several ways you can protect your workforce from falling into mayhem as the pandemic fades into the background.
Provide flexible working options
Questions of whether employees need to return to working full-time in the office again are being raised. There is evidence that organisations have been operating at close to 100% productivity whilst at home, making workers question whether their return to the office is necessary.
If employees are happier working from home, and companies aren’t suffering as a result, implement flexible working options such as hybrid-approaches where possible. Phased returns to work can also be supportive for employees who need some time to build up to returning to work full time.
Ensure employees know that their health comes first
Everyone is struggling to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, some more so than others. Some people are dealing with grief and mental health conditions on top of the pandemic and need a little extra compassion in this trying time. Remind your employees of the mental health and wellbeing policies in place.
Something that can contribute to better mental and physical health is use of a flexible workspace. Flexible workspaces are a particularly good option when returning to the workplace after a significant time off, as they offer a healthy and inclusive working environment, whilst also providing space for employees to work at a desk alone if that’s what they need.
In terms of physical health, it’s common for those who have been infected with COVID-19 to have lasting effects for a long time. One way to ensure that workers aren’t taking on more than they can handle is to carry out a health assessment before they come back to work so you’re aware of any adjustments that may need to be made.
Help employees to manage their finances
There’s nothing worse than being unwell and having to worry about the financial implications. Make sure there is a clear sick pay policy in place for those employees who have contracted the virus, and make sure they know how to apply for it.
Similarly, make all employees aware of how they can access charities or trusts in times of financial hardship, so they’re not left struggling. A study taken before the pandemic revealed that 1 in 5 employees lose sleep worrying about finances. You can only imagine what’s happened to the numbers since then.
As an employer, remember that every employee will have an individual response to events, and some may need more support than others. There is no one ‘size fits all’ approach when it comes to recovering from such a life changing event, so be sure to really consider and personalise the processes when working with your employees. As with every great business, communication is key. Keep in regular contact with your team and it’s unlikely things will turn to chaos.
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