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Covid19 - Get your Business Return to Work Ready Checklist

Return To Work Sign

Stephen Brown

After initial lock down and business survival, the next big issue to face businesses is the return to work in a post-Covid19 environment.

Extensive discussions with our clients in engineering and manufacturing has created the following checklist with some great tips:

  • Have good communication with employees to reach an agreement that suits the needs of the business and employees personal circumstances.
  • Identify which roles can still work from home and which need to be onsite.
  • Take the personal situation of individual employees into account, consider such things as; are they shielding for personal health reasons? do they have vulnerable family members? Is their home a safe environment (domestic abuse has risen dramitcally), What are their childcare arrangements?
  • Have you got enough space to spread out your employee work stations?
  • Can you introduce barriers between work stations?
  • Remove all unnecessary touch points.
  • Stagger start and finish times or shifts to reduce traffic and contact.
  • Implement one way walking systems with 2 metre markers.
  • Increase access and exit points.
  • Encourage hand washing and sanitation upon entry and exit to premises.
  • Find alternatives to touch screens and key pads frequently used by multiple employees.
  • Add additional hand sanitisation points.
  • Support alternative transportation to reduce reliance on public transport (more car parking, bike racks, flexitime to allow walk to work).
  • Stagger tea breaks and reduce use of kitchens and canteens with pre packed food.
  • Reverse into parking spaces to increase distancing in car parks.
  • Allow more time for employee movement to enable distancing.
  • Issue additional PPE and facemasks.
  • Provide employees with thermometers to check their temperature each day at home.
  • Have a Cleaning 'SWAT' team routinely cleaning any common areas and regular touch points.
  • Place regular signs reminding employees of their distancing obligation.
  • Produce letters, emails, intranet and social media group posts, or even videos showcasing your changes to reassure employees of the measures being taken for their safety.
  • Provide onsite laundry or sealed bags for clothing.
  • Provide appropriate storage for clothes, coats etc.
  • Provide appropriate changing areas and ensure they are adequately distanced.
  • Discourage any unnecessary movement on site.
  • Regulate use of stairways, corridors and lifts.
  • Avoid employees working face to face, try and have all facing in the same direction.
  • If the workplace is safe according to all government guidelines then there should be no reason for employees not to return to work.
  • If an employee is uncomfortable you should seek to understand and address this common issue. It is ultimately a potential disciplinary issue without good reason, but we suggest you aim to reach compromise.
  • Identify motivators for concern. Businesses with nervous employees need to address the underlying issue, such as working environment or could be uncomfortable using public transport.
  • Try and live your business values.
  • If you have done everything required to ensure a ‘Covid19’ safe working environment continuously over-communicate this to reassure your employees and continuously listen to the response of your employees.
To learn more about Covid19 Best Business Practice and to join our growing group of clients sharing ideas and solutions, contact Stephen Brown or call 07801 378412.