Truth be told, everyone has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, and while some people were negatively impacted by the COVID-19, some were positively presented with opportunities and platforms to thrive.
However, the workplace will soon be bustling with the usual, regular activities as millions of people will be resuming physically in the next few weeks and months. The gossiping in the kitchen will start again, the physical meetings will put a flexible stall on the virtual meetings, and several employees will be glad to see their coworkers again, physically.
The question now is, how can the workplace be made a safer place to return for staff after the ease in restrictions by the government? As the pandemic continues, concerns about returning to the office become disturbing, and the need for staff to be reassured and their fear, assuaged, by managers and business owners becomes pertinent.
Getting to readjust to a physical office from remote working can be made easy with the support of HR departments and usage of human resources information systems, and it’s no wonder that companies and organizations now use HR systems such as Cezannehr.com to tackle this new situation which is often a common issue for most companies.
Making the Workplace Physically Safe
It’s important that staff’s physical health at the office is secured by employers and employers need to put these few things into place;
- Employers must use partitions to separate workstations, establish one-way traffic systems, readjust the breaks and shifts at the workplace, and overall, account for physical distancing.
- Employers must have a process to issue an order for stay-at-home, contact tracing, and isolation. There must as well be a system put in place to report symptoms or contact of the Coronavirus and a plan to effectively respond to exposure.
- The number of visitors at work premises, sanitization procedures, health and body temperature screening, and a host of other control measures must be established at the workplace.
Aside from all of these that have been mentioned, it’s also vital for businesses to consciously prepare against some specific situations that could arise and be harmful to everyone at the workplace. To make the workplace a safe environment for all, necessary steps to avoid dangerous practices should be taken once the practices have been identified, and risk assessments should also be carried out.
It’s also not a bad idea for employers to solidly affirm the physical safety of the workplace by using diverse online resources which include Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), guidelines issued by the CDC, and SHRM’s COVID-19 return-to-work checklist.
Making the Workplace Psychologically Safe
Employers should understand that there are possibilities that some of their employees will be dealing with different distresses. While some may be juggling different jobs to take care of their families, some may be struggling with challenging domestic circumstances.
Readjusting to working with others again may be very herculean for some people because of the long timeframe they’ve spent in prolonged isolation — all these are some of what can make it more difficult for employees to return to work. Staff’s mental wellbeing could be threatened by reopening, and all businesses must know this.
While these concerns cannot be overlooked, businesses have a role to play in ensuring that their staff settle back into work more quickly and they can start by ensuring their safety and communicating with them individually on the measures that have been put in place.
The transition may not be easy but these are a few more ideas for employers;
- Act on findings and use surveys to keep getting more feedback to foster pleasing organizational changes.
- Affirm that measures to prevent discrimination are put in place, health and body screening results are not public and so are other sensitive information.
- Offer support when it’s needed and available.
- Lead with understanding and compassion.
You can as well inspire the confidence of your employees to come back to work when you regularly engage with them and communicate to them explicitly that all preventable risks have been taken care of.
How HR Systems can Help
Offer flexibility in work schedule: One of the primary duties of every HR system is to boost the performance of employees at the workplace and ensure employees can work in a happy environment. Understanding that it may not be that easy to just return to the place of work after working remotely, work flexibility should be rightfully encouraged and welcomed.
It will be really good if employees can choose their work mode because some workers will have already fully adapted and integrated themselves into the remote working system. Speaking of flexibility, HRM systems can as well welcome shifts for employees; a staggering resumption schedule may be a viable alternative that will be well-received. For more information, you can check here.
Provide mental health support: Without having fear of being stigmatized or judged, the human resource management system of the company must build and uphold their trust in the heart of the employees. Proactive measures to support employees must be taken by the HR system since it’s understandable that the first few weeks of resumption may not be optimally productive.
With a good human resource management system, employees who need to rise back on their feet and seek the services of a mental health professional wouldn’t be left hanging. Thus, in dealing with employees.
HR systems must be considerate and empathetic because many people are still struggling to recover fully, and we all can remember that several people were devastated and battled with psychological disorders like loneliness, depression, anxiety, and the likes during the lockdown.
- Use of Cloud–HR system: The well-being of employees must be improved with the provision of incentives and the experience of employees must be monitored via data analytics by the HR system.
- Attendance tracking, virtual clocking, emails or internal chats, work computer usage, and other employee engagements must be monitored with the adoption of AI technology which is regarded to be an innovative HR trend. More so, workers can stay up-to-date on the everyday activities at the workplace when there’s a cloud HR system.
- Organise training programs: Efficient HR systems should have the goal of increasing the output of the company with the improvement of employees’ performance and, career development programs and provision of resources can be quite helpful to achieve this and this can also prepare workers for work.