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

As we emerge from lockdown and return to the workplace, managers will need to ensure that employees feel safe.

Over the coming weeks and months, many businesses will return to some form of normal operations. 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.

It’s only natural that employees will feel uneasy about going back to their place of work. Employers can help by keeping up to date with the latest government guidelines. 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 wellbeing 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.

Business premises should be set up to comply with social distancing guidelines. This may include setting out floor markings to encourage social distancing, setting up workstations that are a good distance apart and putting screens in place where customer interactions take place. Businesses will also need to put an appropriate cleaning regime in place in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The UK Government has issued a number of guides to help business to return to work safely. These are freely available on www.gov.uk