Across the US, businesses are reopening – with many people starting to return to the office in some capacity. But as lockdown restrictions ease, new rules are being introduced to ensure organizations of all shapes and sizes are keeping their people as safe as possible from exposure to coronavirus.
For HR and risk management professionals, this poses numerous challenges – many of which have never been experienced in our lifetime. Employers must now introduce a plethora of new policies, processes and physical measures to mitigate the risk of a workplace COVID-19 outbreak. In some states, those who fail to comply with the latest regulations could face financial penalties: but it’s not really about the money.
A Duty of Care
Regardless of whether certain measures are mandated in your state or not, businesses now have a responsibility to make the workplace as safe as possible – simultaneously protecting employees, customers, and the business itself from coronavirus.
Creating a COVID-Safe environment won’t be easy or straightforward. There’s no tried and tested playbook, and guidelines and restrictions can vary significantly from state to state, and even from city to city. But without the right measures in place, many employees may be reluctant to return to the office if they’re able to work from home.
Returning to the Office
Providing a working environment where employees feel safe and protected against the virus is absolutely essential. While some people will be eager to return to the office after months of working from home, others will naturally be anxious about the potential risk – particularly if they have vulnerable or elderly family members to protect.
While we’re seeing a large number of businesses continue to support working from home, having realized the benefits it can provide over the past several months, ultimately you want your employees to work wherever they feel most productive. If that means some level of office attendance, you need to make sure they feel safe and comfortable coming into work whenever they feel ready.
Ultimately, each and every business needs to have a robust and proactive plan for returning to the office, with clear consideration of 5 key components:
- Practical health and safety protocols
- Considerations for worksite redesign
- Reviewing and re-imagining policies and benefits
- Importance of employee wellbeing
- Open and ongoing communication
Making Your Workplace COVID-Safe
On Wednesday October 28th, we’re bringing together a panel of experts to discuss what key steps you can take to keep your people as safe as possible from COVID-19.
Our own David Kindlon – CEO and Co-Founder of both Screenin.me and it’s parent company, Eppione – will be joined by HR expert Robin Schooling to explore what the workplace should look like in the context of an ongoing pandemic, and how you can help support employee wellbeing and facilitate effective communication.
Corey Gooch, Senior Director at risk consultancy Ankura, will also be joining us to examine the health and safety considerations your business needs to make when creating a COVID-Safe working environment, as well as the potential risks that organizations across the US now face.
Making your business COVID-Safe to protect employees and customers might not be easy but, together, we can start getting back to normal.
So let’s make a plan. Join us on Wednesday October 28th at 11am ET for our free webinar – in partnership with HR.com.
Register your free place HERE.