During the pandemic, many of us worked from home. By easing the restrictions, employees are preparing to return to work and may be wondering what this will look like. Here are our four most important tips for welcoming employees back to work.
1. Tell your employees what to expect
Your employees may have many questions about returning to work after a pandemic and when and how this will happen. As an employer, you can make the process easier and more convenient for your employees by letting them know your intentions before they return. That way, they will know exactly what to expect when they cross the threshold of the workplace again.
Your employees want to know when the company will open its doors and what new rules will be introduced regarding social distancing and the use of the premises. Providing as complete information as possible about what to expect upon return (ie the availability of vaccinations, face masks and disinfectants) will help employees overcome their concerns about return and ensure compliance with the new rules.
2. Ensuring a safe working environment
The health crisis has drawn attention to health and safety. As supermarkets encourage all customers to disinfect their hands and strollers at the door, employees will expect similar measures to be implemented by their company. Clear markings of where employees can find hygiene stations (and how to use them), as well as new rules and regulations, will give them safety beyond the comfort of home, which in turn will increase the likelihood of moving from home to home. work. This should include instructions on how to use meeting rooms, cafes, lifts and other common areas.
Regular inspections and temperature checks not only ensure that the workplace is safe, but also show employees that measures are being taken to protect them.
3. Consider rescheduled work
After months of online connection and working in a quiet corner of the house, the sudden return to a busy office or factory can put a huge strain on employees. Some employees may look forward to this, but others may need more time to adjust to a situation that may be very different from the one in which they worked at home.
Effective employee support during the transition back to the workplace will help minimize these problems. This support may include considering rescheduled starting work – continuing to work from home for a few days a week for the first few weeks to ensure a slow adaptation to the different work environment.
4. Evaluate and update your organization’s support systems
The COVID-19 pandemic has faced many challenges. It is important to recognize this and to check that the human resources management system and support measures reflect this and offer appropriate assistance.
This may mean that there is a confidential helpline or e-mail address where employees can express their concerns about commuting. It could also mean updating employment flexibility policies to allow employees to continue working as in the last year, or to be able to care for their children, as they did during the pandemic.
To learn more about the impact of the pandemic on the labor sector, see our four sectors of the labor market with the highest demand following the COVID-19 pandemic.