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History will probably refer to this period as BC (Before COVID) and AC (After COVID), and for those of us who have endured this lockdown, this time of approximately 45 -60 days will be a story to tell generations where most of us lost track of days, dates and time.
The reason for my blog is no different. It is to dwell on “the was, the is and the will be”. The lockdown was a move to slow down the enemy. Probably never before was “slowing down oneself” a strategy used to “slow down” the enemy and yet it is the most potent that we will use in the period of AC – because lifting the lockdown is not the end, but the beginning of coming face to face with the enemy post slowing it down (which is likely to make it get faster again).
As much as we hated and accepted long queues at airports, malls and theaters to be frisked by security, the queues are only going to get longer. This is not only optically with the “One-meter distance” guidelines for social distancing, but also because we will have to be “thermal screened” and confirm that we are wearing our PPE correctly. Dress code in society will have new accessories – the mask, glove and sanitizer. Whether these will get fashionable and have branded tags is a discussion for another day.
As a part of AC, we have to get #BackToWork and rev up the engines of our business. Employees will return from the confines of their homes (in gradually increasing numbers) and providing them with a safe hazard-free environment plus personal effects will be every HR Leader's concern. First of all, it is required to ensure that those returning are not a risk by obtaining a fitness certificate and then making sure the office premise is not a war zone in the making. Regular sanitization of the workplace, adequate screening of employees and visitors, steady supply of masks, gloves and sanitizers will have to be planned for the next foreseeable future and maybe even beyond. Anticipating these being made regulations and norms for venturing into society and at work is in all likelihood a reality.
We will change the way we interact with colleagues and friends and make behavioral adjustments almost like factory resetting a device and updating it with new software. Businesses will have to make sure this is done en-mass and well, as a single mistake can prove very costly – in terms of having to shut down and re-start an office facility and an entire team. Every day a battle check would be performed to keep the healthy at good productivity levels and taking care of those affected to ensure there are no further casualties.
A recent pulse survey conducted by ekincare shows that 50% of HR leaders are thinking right and the concern is for the remaining 50% who may not have prioritized it currently.
The time to plan is NOW! – for an individual, a team and an organization at large.
This is the year 2020 AC!
ekincare has chalked out comprehensive Back to Work plans for organizations of all sizes with an emphasis on awareness, prevention and protection of employees and workplaces. For more information.