By Nic Redfern, finance director, KnowYourMoney.co.uk
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted each aspect of our day-to-day lives; and UK working life has been no exception. Certainly, nearly all of UK places of work have been closed since late March with half (49%) of workers working from dwelling as of mid-June.
Nonetheless, hope might be on the horizon; on 17th July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his blueprint to get the UK again to “regular” by Christmas. Having already issued new well being and security pointers to assist workspaces adapt to the “new regular”, Johnson’s newest announcement indicated a decided push to reopen UK companies. Naturally, this may imply re-opening workplace areas.
At first look, going again to workplace life would seem like a easy job. Nonetheless, we should not underestimate the complexities of this train. Each enterprise might want to develop a radical technique to facilitate a protected transition again to workplace life.
So, the query is, how can employers put together themselves for the problem?
Clear traces of communication
While it might seem to be an apparent level, the security and well-being of the workforce needs to be prioritised by employers. So, whereas the federal government pointers supply an excellent foundation for companies’ prolonged well being and security insurance policies, it is usually important to ask workers for his or her enter relating to the brand new technique.
There’ll inevitably be combined emotions amongst workers about coming again to the workplace. Certainly, some could also be excited to re-join their colleagues, while others is likely to be anxious about mingling with quite a few individuals in confined areas; half (50%) of UK adults are anxious in regards to the prospects of social distancing measures being relaxed, in accordance with KnowYourMoney.co.uk.
So, it’s critical that worker considerations are heard. Organising group convention calls or firm surveys can be an excellent begin. Not solely will this assist to ease workers anxieties about coming again to work, however the knowledge may even allow companies to maximise their assets to finest swimsuit the wants of their workers. Making a wholesome and comfortable workforce previous to re-opening the workplace will assist to make sure the longevity of an organisation.
Lengthen current coverage
As soon as consultations with the workforce have taken place, enterprise leaders will be capable to allocate their assets successfully to improve present well being and security insurance policies.
For a lot of organisations, this may contain placing social distancing measures in place. In spite of everything, current analysis from recruitment consultancy Robert Half revealed that almost all (56%) of workers felt anxious about being sat too near their colleagues.
This may imply various things for various places of work. For some, it’s going to require a bodily restructuring of their house; maybe involving eliminating some desks or open plan assembly areas. Moreover, organisations could must put money into bigger desks or protecting screens to make sure workers really feel protected sufficient to stay at work for lengthy durations of time.
Workplace hygiene may even play a a lot bigger half in workplace well being and security coverage shifting ahead. While nearly all of places of work will obtain day by day cleansing providers, some could think about introducing weekly deep cleans – or a service to that impact. Even seemingly small actions like inserting hand sanitiser stations across the workplace may play a key function in new well being and security initiatives.
Staggering workers returns
Maybe probably the most troublesome aspect of reopening the workplace is planning the logistics of workers returns. By this, I imply deciding how and when workers may be invited again to the workplace.
For a lot of companies, a staggered method can be advisable. In spite of everything, bringing all workers again without delay can be counterproductive in easing workers anxieties.
The following consideration is which groups to ask again first. After all, every organisation may have its personal organisational priorities; that mentioned, it might be a good suggestion to start out by bringing in smaller groups – like advertising and marketing, accounts or gross sales – for a number of days per week. This may assist companies to overview and amend their workplace structure, in accordance to how finest they assume can cater to their workers’s wants.
Certainly, some organisations could discover it less expensive to maintain workers working from dwelling for the foreseeable future; notably if productiveness hasn’t fallen all through the pandemic. No matter is set, workers needs to be stored within the loop with the companies’ method all through all the course of. This may allow workers to voice any considerations they may have, permitting the organisation to adapt and modify their method accordingly.
Entering into the “new regular”
Finally, there isn’t a one-model method for companies getting ready to reopen their places of work.
Some companies, for instance, could require a whole overhaul of the structure of their workplace house, while others may determine the necessity to search for a totally new, bigger house to cater to the social distancing wants of workers. Others could determine to maintain workers working from dwelling for the foreseeable future, particularly if enterprise productiveness has not dropped and the workforce are comfortable to take action. Each enterprise is totally different and can subsequently require a unique technique.
What is important, nonetheless, is that employers don’t rush into any main selections. Taking a relaxed and regarded method is not going to solely restrict the anxiousness felt amongst workers on the considered returning to work, however it’s going to additionally be sure that the organisation will be capable to adapt and thrive within the “new regular.”