In August, the UK Government’s previous advice to work from home where possible ended. Instead a call to return to the workplace was put out where it was safe to do so. This has left many employees worried about whether it is safe to return and feeling anxious to do so.
Is a return to the workplace necessary?
Many businesses have discovered that home or remote working is a favourable option for them. There are potential savings in workplace overheads and employees may welcome the flexibility. If home working is proving successful for a business then they could simply choose to embrace it on a permanent basis.
But we want to return to the workplace – is it safe?
Home working does not suit everyone or every business. It can lead to a loss of collaborative working, communication difficulties and even mental health problems for some employees. If there is a desire to return to the workplace fully or partially then employers must ensure that the workplace is Covid secure.
What is a Covid secure workplace?
A workplace which is deemed as Covid secure has:
- Completed a Covid-19 risk assessment
- Increased cleaning, hygiene and hand washing facilities and has procedures in place
- Taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance between staff
- Managed the transmission risk where a 2m distance cannot be maintained
If a workplace cannot be assessed as Covid secure then employees should remain working from home.
Employee communication essential
For businesses and employees transitioning back to the workplace communication is key. Sharing risk assessments, understanding concerns or worries and finding flexible solutions, where possible, is the best way forward for most businesses.