how you can make sure your workplace is safer for employees returning to work

There is a lot of information out there which details the steps you need to take as an employer to keep your employees safe from a social distancing standpoint, however you need to do more than just keep your workers apart to ensure their health needs are truly cared for. 

  • Encourage flexible working arrangements if they work in your industry 

Many have taken to flexible working arrangements recently more through reality than choice, but it has been shown to have several benefits in terms of health and safety. Many flexible workers report having increased productivity when working remotely, this, in turn, has a big impact on their mental health. 

Working remotely allows employees to pick a workspace that suits them and the mood they are in. Indeed, for many, the idea of working remotely is an ambition and before the lockdown, many took to the digital nomad path.

Flexible working hours also allow employees better structure over their day, which allows more flexible time for wellbeing activities like breaks, walks and exercise. All this can create a positive feedback loop which improves wellbeing and productivity. 

  • Ensure you have adequate team building activities planned for the future 

Physical team meetings may be off the cards for a while however one way you could prep workers for life back in the office is through virtual and distanced team events. This could be in the form of online activities and challenges, planning in some of these will help encourage your employees to start working more cooperatively in the future. 

  • Put a plan in place to help employees manage their own wellbeing 

Managing wellbeing is going to be more important now than ever as we look to get people back in the workplace safely. Team meetings and an open culture will be crucial in helping employees to get any issues off their mind. Open discussion also gives you access to different perspective which may open your eyes to new ways of improving wellbeing. 

  • Have a plan for who is coming into the workplace and when 

One of the ways that you can minimise the chances of employees coming into contact with each other in a larger organisation is through the staggering of start and finish times. This will help to prevent the chance for potential ‘hotspots’ for virus transition (like corridors and elevator) becoming overwhelmed. 

Keeping workers safe will benefit your business 

The steps mentioned in this article are important when it comes to creating a healthy and well looked after workforce. If your industry permits it, flexible working that gives employees the choice of where they work has been shown to have both productivity and wellbeing benefits.  As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees and must ensure they are well looked after as workplaces begin to open up after the lockdown. Taking into account the steps above, coupled with the correct government advice and the latest industry news will give you the tools you need to keep workers safe.