While 2020 brought a lot of misfortune for the world, 2021 came in with positive news of vaccines and rising recovery rates. This has now started to encourage businesses around the world to consider re-opening their physical offices. However, our battle with the virus is still on, making it seem like an unachievable goal.
So, today, we will try to list 6 ways for you to ensure your employees’ physical and mental well-being when reopening your offices
- Maintain proper sanitization
The first and the foremost step for organisations to keep their employees safe as and when they reopen their physical offices, is to maintain proper hygiene and sanitization. Managers should encourage their employees to wash their hands or use hand sanitisers as often as they can. In addition to this, organisations should also get their entire office space including every piece of equipment, door, window, etc regularly cleaned and sanitized. This will help in keeping your office free of germs and bacterias. One of the easiest ways to get this done is to seek the help of some professional office cleaners. With the latest tools and technology, they are better equipped to thoroughly clean your workplace.
A great suggestion of the same for our South Australian readers is – Clean advice. They are experts in home and office cleaning in Adelaide and its surrounding areas. We hope you give them a try and share your experience with us.
- Give your employees a choice
Even though the rate of recovery is rising, there is still a sense of fear and hysteria among people. Therefore, if any organisation plans to re-open their physical office, it should try to present it as a choice to its employees instead of forcing it on them. Managers should allow their employees the freedom to choose whatever they are comfortable with – working from the office or working from home. Forcing them to come to the office can create unnecessary mental stress for them as well as their families.
- Give them time to adjust
Managers should understand that it’s been a long time since their employees last worked in the physical office settings. They have now become used to their work from home routines. So, whenever they start working from physical offices again, it will, in a way, be a completely new experience for them. They will require sufficient time and space to re-adjust and managers should be ready to provide it. This will ensure a smooth transition from online mode to offline mode of working without putting any physical or mental pressure on your employees.
- Start with opening partially
Social distancing norms are still applicable. Therefore, organisations should try to have as few employees as possible at any given time in their offices. Certain organisations are currently following a policy where they call approx. 40-5-% of their workforce to work from the office on a single day. Then, the next day the rest 50% of employees come to work from the office and so on. This allows them to give each employee the experience of working from the physical office without violating the safety norms. This also reduces the risk of infection among employees.
- Encourage social distancing within the cubicles
Another important step towards ensuring employee wellbeing is to encourage them to maintain social distancing even inside the office. Managers should ask their employees to avoid sitting too close, sharing their lunches, shaking hands or hugging each other. Managers should also implement routine screening procedures at their workplace. This will not only reduce the sense of fear among employees but also curb the risk of infection.
- Don’t stress too much about productivity
Last but not the least, organisations should be ready to accept a certain level of fluctuation in the productivity of their employees. Managers should understand that re-opening offices would mean a change of pace and place of working for their employees. Thus, they may feel a little more anxious and a little less motivated while sitting in the office. In such a situation, managers need to be more supportive and allow their employees time to regain their original level of efficiency and productivity without putting extra pressure on them.
As far as defeating this virus is concerned, we still have a long road ahead of us. Therefore companies need to carefully evaluate the situation and take calculated risks.