People at home feel the walls closing in and are anxious to get back to work. Companies want to bring in their workers as soon as possible to avoid more financial hits. Many larger companies and industries don’t expect life to return to normal for many months. Yet getting back to work is fraught with problems for both companies and their employees.
Businesses face the safety issues involved in bringing people together again in close environments. Will they become liable if someone gets infected with the COVID-19 virus? How can they keep their staffs safe while they interact with each other? The close quarters of offices may add barriers to urban businesses whose workspaces are not built for social distancing.
Employment law attorney Jonathon Segal says employers have a duty under the Occupational Safety & Health Act to make sure they provide a safe workplace.
To accomplish that, you may need to bring workers back slowly, rather than all at once. This would help maintain social distancing and give employers time to require workers to get tested.
Along with the concerns of potential infection that returning to work brings, employees must face the challenge of childcare as many school districts and daycares remain closed. They will also worry about asymptomatic co-workers.
Companies that have been able to sustain with employees working from home may want to extend those policies until workers are comfortable returning on their own or until they receive the “all clear” sign that the virus is no longer a threat.
With the technology tools available today, such as Zoom, Go-to-Meeting, Skype & Trello, many businesses can go on as usual but in an altered environment.
Greg Watt of Watt Global Media found that when they switched to remote working, employees performance levels increased dramatically with a higher employee retention rate and stronger ability to recruit top talent.
Otherwise, businesses will be at the mercy of the states and the CDC in determining the proper way to reopen and bring staff back to the office.
Michael Herrera, CEO of BCMMETRICS, suggest several steps to help you resume operations, including creating a return-to-normal team of representatives from core departments like HR, IT, Facilities & communications. He also recommends creating an implementation timeline so you can hit the ground running as you get back to work.
Remote Work Might be the Future
During this period—and perhaps the foreseeable future—of working from home, we need to become expert at the application of technology and tools, like ZOOM, Trello, high-speed wi-fi and more.
If you would like to know more, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Americans are wary of getting back to normal too quickly—Harris Poll
- Develop focus teams within your organization. Teams can center around mission, customer needs or even planning your company’s return to work.
- Replace annual reviews with monthly one-on-one feedback sessions or quarterly interviews. Workers thrive on frequent feedback.
- Utilize predictive analytics to determine which current workers may translate into high-performing employees.