Let’s not sugar-coat it: the current situation is new, difficult and daunting. But here’s the good news: there will be a post-Corona era as well.
One day, regulations will be lifted and companies will finally be able to ask their employees to return to their usual workplaces.
However, for many of them this transition might be unexpected and perhaps even uncomfortable. After all, how sure can you be that it is safe to come back to the office?
We’ve spoken to some of our customers and partners and collected some ideas that will help you to create a safe environment for your employees and to reassure them during the next unfamiliar episode.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Reinforcing good hygiene practices
- Encouraging a strict sick-leave policy
- Reducing business trips
- Creating more home office options
- Monitoring who enters your building or facilities
- Providing safe commuting options
- The ideal duration of such precautionary measures
First things first: Reinforcing good hygiene practices
It’s common sense: you don’t have it - you don’t want to catch or spread it. Over the past months, everyone’s awareness has been raised to maximizing our hygiene. Keeping up this habit definitely won’t hurt and will give employees a sense of security.
Here’s what you can do:
- Provide hand sanitizer around your facilities, as well as soap for regular hand-washing
- Provide tissues so these can be at hand to be sneezed into and disposed of immediately
- Encourage teams to avoid all personal contact (yes, that includes a pat on the back or a high-five)
- Ask them to remind each other not to touch their faces (you can even put up little reminder notes around the office)
Sure, these are all little steps. But they go a long way when it comes to feeling protected and valued.
Don’t feel well? Don’t come in!
Now more than ever it is important to stay at home when you feel sick. Insist that employees don’t come to work when they are unwell and send them home if they develop any symptoms throughout the workday.
Even if they don’t show the classic symptoms of Covid-19, make sure they keep themselves and others safe, as any illness can weaken the immune system.
We like to Zoom it, Zoom it!
(Actually, at Smunch we Hangout together …)
The past few months have shown us that you can take almost any business meeting online so it makes sense to think twice before sending an employee on a business trip.
For at least a few months, many people will feel uneasy about travelling, although not everyone might admit it. Save them from an unpleasant situation and reduce business travel as much as possible. Don’t forget: it will save you money, too!
Home is where the heart is
Even if your company usually has a very strict work-from-home policy, this is the time to re-evaluate it. Consider offering any employee who is able to work remotely the option to do so.
The fewer people are on site, the more likely it is they will feel safer, as everybody will need some time to get used to being among others again.
Get a door policy and a guest list
Well, almost. But it does foster a sense of security if you monitor who enters your building. Keep a list of anyone who is not with your company and reduce visitors to a minimum.
Embrace the indoorsy lifestyleWe’ve all gotten used to it over the past few months: staying inside. While this is a struggle for some, others feel much safer doing so. As soon as it’s time to return to the office, you can still reduce the time spent outside to a minimum.
Find great solutions for your team’s everyday problems, such as a lunch program that saves them from going out to buy food. Or subsidize an online fitness class subscription to save them the trip to the gym. Every little helps.
Find a safe solution for commuting compañeros
Keep your team off the public transport as much as possible. One way to do this could be to set up a system where employees with a car pick up colleagues along the route. After all, everybody loves Carpool Karaoke.
Alternatively you could subsidize bicycles and encourage your team to stay safe and fit!
For how long should you keep these new practices in place?
That is truly something we cannot answer. At this time, nobody can foresee whether a second outbreak might occur or a new virus might develop (and we’re not saying this to worry you, but just to be cautious).
Ultimately you will make no mistake by maintaining precautionary measures like these indefinitely - if not forever. Should you have any concerns please reach out to your local health authorities.
But let’s end this on a positive note: you’ve done a great job hanging in there, and so has your team! A crisis brings out the worst in some but it certainly brought out the best in everyone who is part of the Smunch Family.
Here’s to a better future!