When the world was hit by coronavirus last year, it brought havoc upon everyone and strict guidelines were issued to prevent Covid-19 spread. Preventive measures were enforced like, closing of public places, workplaces, schools, people were confined to stay at home, and work-from-home became a new normal.
Whether big or small, companies are now considering bringing their workforce back to the workplace as it is not convenient to work remotely for many businesses.
Reopening workplaces is becoming a challenge for many companies now. There are many things that you need to consider before you ask the workforce to return to offices.
Here are 7 things that you need to consider while starting workplace post-Covid-19:
- A Strategic Plan
You can’t just abruptly decide to start a thing, you have to have strategic planning before executing it. Many factors are needed to be considered in your plan that may affect your decision, few of them are:
- Considering whether the employees are willing to come back to the office, you can’t force anyone, and it is okay for them to be worried about coming back
- Is it convenient for workers to come to the office daily and are they okay with traveling in public transportation?
- Do you require the whole staff or will a few of them be sufficient for now?
- You should strategically layout the attendance plan for workers so that there are only 50-60% workers at a time
- Making the health and safety of everyone a priority
- Re-Designing the Office
Pre-covid workspace might not be ideal to work at. Offices must be re-designed to maintain social distancing amongst the co-workers and avoid physical interactions.
Few renovations that could be done at the workspace are:
- The cubicles that are provided must be big and the separating walls should be high
- Proper ventilation must be maintained, and air filters can be installed
- Plastic barriers should be set up between the desks of the workers who can’t maintain social distancing
- Broadening the doorways, corridors, conference halls, pantry, etc
- Better IP rated junction boxes must be installed that could resist outside conditions.
- Health Comes First
A person needs to be physically and mentally fit to be efficient at work and provide good quality of work.
Covid-19 has taken a big toll on everyone’s mental health as some have gone through isolation or lost someone dear to them, it isn’t easy for everyone to be out there like pre-covid times.
A healthy environment for work should be maintained without extra workload and pressure. Co-workers should be sensitive to each other and a sense of mental well-being must prevail.
If any worker is seen with fever, hay fever, nausea, cold or diarrhea, instant medical treatment should be given as these are the symptoms of coronavirus. And to prevent others from getting infected that person must be given leave or work from home.
- Transportation and Accommodations
Not everyone has their jobs in their hometown and not everyone is okay with traveling daily because the chances of getting infected are high.
If employees are uncomfortable with traveling in public transportation, then the company should provide the transportation to them and in that way, it is more secure for everyone.
A company can provide accommodations to workers in the workplace so that they don’t have to travel much and there are fewer chances of getting infected with the coronavirus.
- Safety Measures
To maintain keep workers healthy and avoid getting infected with Covid-19 safety measures should be taken, like:
- Everyone should wear an N95 mask all the time while being on office premises.
- Body temperature should be taken at the entrance of the workplace.
- Every desk and office should have hand sanitizers.
- Health records should be maintained of each employee in the company.
- Disinfectants should be used by workers to clean their desks daily before starting the work.
- Every worker must be vaccinated.
- Only 50-60% of the workforce must be there at a time.
- Proper hygiene should be maintained at the workplace.
- Get the whole workplace sanitized once or twice a week.
- Social distancing must be maintained.
- Clients and Customers
No matter how big or small a business is, there will always be clients and customers that will require physical interaction and avoiding them or restricting them from coming to the workplace isn’t the solution.
To reduce the risk of employees getting infected and at the same time taking care of clients/customers preventive measures must be taken, such as:
- Body temperature should be recorded at the checkpoint.
- Nobody should be allowed to enter the building without wearing a mask.
- Restraining the clients/customers from using washrooms, until or unless it’s an emergency.
- Things that are frequently touched by outsiders must be disinfected after every use.
- Client/customer must get sanitized \before entering the building.
To prevent technicians from coming, any damage to electrical housing must be prevented by protecting them with IP rated junction boxes that are weatherproof and dust-resistant
- Covid-19 Policies
Everyone has a right to safety, nobody wants to live in a condition where it is hazardous to their health. Thus, companies are bound to provide each worker a safe working place under the OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) Policy.
With Covid-19 a company should make some amendments to their existing OHS Policy, to ensure the safety of the workforce amidst the pandemic.
Every worker should be familiar with Occupational Health and Safety Act so that no one can exploit your health in the name of working.
It has been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic started, research on the Covid-19 virus and the availability of vaccines helped the authoritative organizations to get a hold on the situation.
Although, people are coming back to their regular lives with new adaptive measures and workplaces have been opened. However, it is not child’s play. You can’t just decide a date to reopen and assume everything will be back like it used to be pre-covid.
Hence, the above-mentioned factors should be considered before reopening workplaces.