Reopening the workplace after COVID‑19 lockdown
As lockdown restrictions in the UK are starting to lift, many businesses are now starting thinking about reopening the workplace. For most, navigating a way through this as we begin to find our ‘new normal’ is likely to be every bit as challenging as dealing with the lockdown.
To help you, here’s our advice on some key factors to consider.
1. Put your employees first
It’s likely that the most valuable thing about your business – your people – have been through a tough time. Whether they’ve been furloughed and feeling uncertain about their job security, or whether they’ve been trying to keep working as normally as possible from home – often while having to juggle challenges such as homeschooling, self-isolation, illness concerns and more – you need to continue to put their wellbeing first. Keep asking them how they’re doing, keep taking action in response to their answers, and don’t decide anything about reopening your workplace without ensuring they feel comfortable with what you’re planning.
2. Consider your customers
If customers will be visiting your premises, or your employees will be visiting your customers’, you’ll need to have appropriate measures in place. These will include: guidelines around social distancing, effective sanitary and hygiene procedures, and keeping a log of who has visited and how they can be alerted should they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for Covid-19. Failure to act responsibly could lead to loss of business and – worse – reputational damage.
3. Ensure your office is ready
In order to ensure safety, you will most likely have to consider: managing the numbers of people in the building at any one time; working out a daily or weekly shift pattern for those who need to attend the office, to ensure numbers remain within the safe limits; a schedule for regular deep cleaning; provision of hand sanitiser and anti-viral wipes; and contact tracing for people who may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus. Above all, keeping accurate records and having clear, easily visible data on all of this is crucial.
4. Carry on with flexible working
No matter how safe your workplace is, it’s essential that the people going to it feel safe while there – and also on their journey to and from the premises. Therefore, for the time being, your default position should always be that if your employees and customers do not feel comfortable attending your offices – or your customers’ offices – in person, you should never compel them to. For most businesses, working remotely can be highly effective, and of course many have been coping with this well over the past few months thanks to skilful management and the many digital solutions available to support them.
Salesforce is helping to lead the way with much of the above and their Work.com initiative is full of useful resources, information and advice to help you as some kind of normality starts to return.
If you’d like to learn more about how smart digital solutions can help you to reopen your workplace safely, or want help with getting the most from your Salesforce investments, get in touch with us and we’d be happy to discuss your needs. Contact us today.