How do we safely bring employees back to the workplace?
Though much of the nation is entering different phases of the reopening process, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we live and work. Safety is still at the forefront of our minds, but opening up the economy and getting people back to work is also a priority for many business owners and leaders. In a world where there are so many unknowns, how do you safely bring your employees back to the workplace?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are three tips to keep in mind as you prepare your team to reenter the workforce post-coronavirus.
#1 Keep Communication Open
Keep your employees in the loop about your return-to-work plans, as well as the safety procedures and precautions your business is putting into place to keep their health top of mind. Whether you’re sending out an all-company email or initiating one-on-one conversations with each employee, giving them as much information as you have is one way to keep their stress levels down and connect while we are all a little more physically distant these days.
Also, remember that communication goes both ways. Allowing employees to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas for the shift back to work, whether through a survey or individual meetings, gives your team a sense of agency and can also result in creative solutions particular to your business. If possible, provide options and allow employees, especially team members in at-risk groups, the opportunity to communicate their boundaries regarding personal safety and risk.
#2 Provide Personal Safety Equipment and Resources
If you want to keep and retain a healthy workforce, make sure you’re giving them the protective equipment they need to feel confident in their return.
Three must-have items:
- Face Masks — The Venture™ MicrobeSafety Mask™ Provides your team with enhanced protection via the reusable, breathable, and antimicrobial properties. The masks are coated with MicrobeCare™, an EPA-registered antimicrobial coating.
- Pro Tip: Provide each team member with two face masks, so they can wear one and wash one for continuous protection.
- Hand Sanitizer — Set up hand sanitizer and sanitation stations at every entrance and throughout your office, so cleansing on the go is never an issue.
- Pro Tip: Give everyone a travel-sized Lake Effect Venture™ Hand Sanitizer four-pack to help eliminate germs anywhere, anytime.
- Cleaning Supplies — Did you know that a keyboard is about 20,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat? Eliminate germs on high-touch surfaces, around common areas, and at desks by providing disinfectant throughout the office.
- Pro Tip: Encourage use by setting up a disinfect-before-you-begin-your-day policy, so we know everyone is starting their day in a clean space.
#3 Adjust Hours, Work-From-Home, and Sick Time Policies
As a reminder, businesses won’t be “back to normal” for a long time. So we need to adjust to the new challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When you think about your work environment, make sure there is at least six feet of space between your employees when possible by staggering work stations. Adjusting work hours so you have fewer team members overlapping (a one-day-on and one-day-off approach can help reduce the number of people in the same space).
If your business allows for it, keep work from home as an option and encourage people to use it when it makes sense for their schedules. The best way to prevent prevention is by social distancing and staying home. Don’t forget that is an option.
Make sure your team is aware of your sick policy, and don’t make employees feel like they need to come into work if they or someone they have spent time with is feeling under-the-weather. Encourage them to stay home (or work from home) for at least 14 days to help ensure a reduction in the potential transmission of COVID-19.
There is so much to consider as businesses and the world reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. Make sure you and your team have the resources needed to practice safe back-to-work behavior to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to your employees and community. For personal safety essentials like the antimicrobial and reusable Venture™ MicrobeSafety Mask™ and Lake Effect Venture™ Hand Sanitizer, visit our website.