Introduction to post coronavirus offices and steps for planning phased returns to work.
As business owners and management teams start to plan to re-open business premises and get back to work, our HR adviser Rachel Barrett of HR Elite informs us that a number of her clients are reporting staff refusing to return to the office saying they are concerned for their health and do not feel safe.
There is no doubt that there will be a number of employees that will try and extend their period of furlough purely because they have enjoyed being at home whilst being paid 80% of their salary, in the majority of cases these concerns are very real and as employers we need to consider how we can address these anxieties and how we phase the return to work in a way that makes our team feel considered and safe.
Whilst of course we need to protect the business in every way we can to ensure job security for the team as a whole going forward, we also need to consider the circumstances of each individual and, where possible, work with them to meet their needs and personal situations. So we need to take a collaborative approach in agreeing the structure and timings for returning to work over the coming weeks and months.
We have created a flow chart going through the steps for planning phased returns to work. The main factors to consider include:
What departments/roles are crucial right now in the business?
Are all those working in these areas crucial, or can their returns be phased?
Is it crucial that these roles be fulfilled in the office? Or can those involved work effectively from home?
Of those that are required to return to the office, can their shifts be staggered?
Remember there will be some parents who have children still at home and no childcare available, so we will need to be flexible where possible. Perhaps there are some of the team who could work weekends or later days/evenings when their partners are home for childcare.
Where we do require staff to return to working in the office, we will need to look at reconfiguring our space to maintain social distancing and making sure we provide all necessary supplies and equipment to ensure a safe environment for all.
Click here to download the flowchart in PDF format