Helping your employees feel safe as they go back to the workplace

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Advice on working from home will change from the 1st of August. It will now be up to the employers’ discretion whether employees report back to the workplace, continue working from home, or a mixture of both. Managers will need to ensure that employees feel safe as they emerge from lockdown and return to the workplace.

Many businesses will return to some form of normal operation over the coming weeks and months. This means that staff will begin to return to offices, factories and other places of work. Managers will need to help their people back into their work routine. With the virus still at large, employees will feel uneasy about going back to offices. Employers can help by keeping up to date with the latest government guidelines. The government has released updated guidance on safe working practices during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres which you can find here.

Here is some guidance for close contact services. This includes hairdressing, barbershops, beauty and nail bars, makeup and tattoo studios, tanning salons/booths, spas and wellness businesses, spas and massage therapy, well-being and holistic locations, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers.

These guidelines should be communicated to all staff on a regular basis so that everyone is aware of the relevant policies and procedures. This in itself can help to calm people’s nerves as it demonstrates that the firm is implementing the latest health and safety recommendations and is taking their well-being seriously.

As ever, communication is key. Managers should have open conversations about personal protective equipment (PPE), respecting social distancing guidelines, etc. Some employees may have different views on what safety precautions are necessary in the workplace. As such, the management team should create appropriate training materials and deliver training to all staff so that everyone knows what is required of them. It is important to remind everyone that they have a responsibility to others and that if everyone follows the guidelines, then risks to staff and customers will be minimised.

Government guidance encourages businesses to set up premises that comply with social distancing guidelines. This includes using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people comply with social distancing and keep employees safe (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).

Visit our COVID-19 News page for the latest updates regarding the coronavirus.

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