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The COVID-19 health crisis has now brought added value and increased vulnerability to physical spaces and the physical proximity we share. While Work From Home (WFH) continues to be the dominant trend across industries, the ideas around "returning to work” are constantly evolving. From mandated social distancing guidelines to a lower frequency of attending office, the way back to re-entering the workplace poses various challenges.
While it is widely acknowledged that there are challenges in store for the future of the corporate workplace, this once-in-a-generation experience is also filled with opportunities to reframe old rules and create a new, better normal for organizations around the globe.
The following are a few tips on how to secure the workplace in the new normal.
To counteract this apprehension, HR managers can implement a staggered attendance policy, where there is a limit to the maximum number of employees who are present at work on a given day, alleviating concerns over potential infection and other health risks.
Having clearly defined and displayed safety information goes a long way in ensuring employee trust and reducing health related anxiety.
A preliminary questionnaire of employee-generated needs and protocols may help plan for a better back to office checklist to coordinate the reopening process of the workplace as well.
No matter the additional cost of manpower required for sanitation, this can help pay back dividends in employee satisfaction and a healthy workforce, adding to the overall productivity of the organisation.
HR managers are likely to face various challenges in the post-COVID workplace with regard to health concerns and a general sense of uneasiness among their team members. However, the tips mentioned here are a good place to start when planning a strategy to reopen the workplaces for employees to return to work. The implications of the pandemic on employee health and organisational productivity will become apparent as the corporate world returns to normal, and the challenges of today will serve as lessons for a better future for corporations around the world.