With 62% of employees in America working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what is the future of work? For the last few months, you have worked at home, attended countless Zoom calls, managed Skype and Teams calls, juggled household works and kid's homeschooling, and have tried to maintain composure in the face of uncertainty. How will your workplace change in the future? While some changes may be temporary until there is a vaccine for Coronavirus, others may become permanent.
Resuming office after a period of closure
If your office has been closed for a period due to COVID-19, make a comprehensive plan for when workplace resumes that takes account of safety and good health. While preparing the plan consider the following:
- Update your risk assessment following the COVID-19: guidance for the workplace.
- Carry out adaptations to the layout of the workplace and the organization of work that will reduce Coronavirus transmission before fully resuming work and before all workers return to the workplace.
- Consider resuming work in stages to allow adaptations to be carried out.
- Redesign spaces to ensure physical distancing.
- Be sure to inform employees about the changes and provide them training on the new procedures, if necessary, before they resume work.
- Contact your occupational health service and health and safety advisor and discuss your plan with them.
- Pay special attention to employees who are at high risk and be well prepared to protect the most vulnerable, including older ones, pregnant employees and those with chronic conditions
- Have mechanism in place to measure workforce engagement and productivity
- Pay attention also to employees with close family members who are at high risk.
- Put in place support for employees who may be suffering from stress or anxiety.
- Employees might be worried about an increased risk of infection at the workplace and may not want to resume work from the office. It is important to understand their concerns, provide information about the measures taken and the support available for them.