As businesses around the world begin to determine a “new normal” in the midst of a global pandemic, strategies for reopening are as vast as the industries represented. One thing we can all agree on is the need to keep employees safe and healthy. We’ve compiled a list of six strategies to promote the mental and physical health of employees because a healthy workplace is a productive workplace.
Clean hands and clean surfaces can minimize the spread of COVID-19 and create a safe workplace. Consider adding sanitization stations throughout your office with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes so your employees can wipe frequently touched surfaces.
While your pre-COVID-19 budget likely included a cleaning team for your office, now is the time to ask questions regarding the products used and exactly what their cleaning regimen includes. Consider upgrading from a vacuum and dust plan to one that includes full office sanitization.
Flexible sick leave policy
Understandably, executives and stakeholders are worried about productivity during the uncertainty of COVID-19. However, now is not the time to adopt an inflexible sick leave policy that might encourage employees to come to work while exhibiting symptoms or return too early after a COVID-19 infection. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home, and be aware that employees may need to stay home to care for sick family members and friends.
Employ touchless technology
Pre-pandemic, we didn’t think twice about using the remote control to turn on the meeting room tv or use a shared pen. To keep employees healthy, eliminate as many touch-points as possible by investing in touchless technology like this building in Sydney. Start from the moment employees and guests arrive with Wellcome, an Apple or Android digital wallets for an easy, touch-free check-in.
Education is key to keeping employees safe and healthy. Keep employee health and safety at the forefront of everyone’s minds through posted information, health-related office-wide newsletters, and an updated office health policy. Provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) or publish guidelines for when, where, and what type of face coverings should be worn in the office and post reminders about social distancing and sanitization throughout the office.
Create a culture where social distancing and PPE are expected
In these unprecedented times, employees are looking to leaders. Now, it’s more important than ever for leaders to set a good example by creating a culture that adheres to social distancing and proper PPE use. Not doing so puts employees’ health at risk and causes more cautious employees to feel ostracized or compromise their values to fit in.
Eliminate non-essential work travel
As businesses cautiously reopen, devote time to reconsidering your employees’ work travel. As we’ve learned this year, much of the work we do can be done on a video call. Just because “it’s the way it’s always been done,” doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for the current climate. Save money and protect your employees by limiting non-essential work travel.
As you create a plan for reopening, start with the safety and health of employees. When safety is an expectation, good health is the result.