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How do I bring my employee back to work safely, and how do I help my employees feel safe?

Aug 26, 2020
How do I bring my employee back to work safely
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The last three months have been a phase of anxiety and depression with the COVID-19 explosion. Moreover, countries have gone into lockdown. Employees are working from their homes. Now, the government is looking at implementing business reopening measures. Employers also need to plan to move their employees back to their physical workplace location. 

COVID-19 pandemic spreads via respiratory fluids, so the guidance got from local, state, and federal government directs employers to remain closed until they are capable to execute safeguards for limiting coronavirus spread.

The safeguards according to CDC include -

  • Practice healthy hygiene

  • Social distancing

  • Intensify ventilation, cleaning, and disinfection 

  • Telework & cancel insignificant travel

  • Restrict shared item spaces

  • Seating distance of a minimum of 6 feet

  • Wear masks

  • Train staff on every safety actions


Other CDC ongoing monitoring protocols for business to establish before opening are -

  • Establish a daily routine employee health check

  • Sick employees need to stay home

  • Monitor nonattendance and have flexible time-off policy

  • Have an action plan to handle situations where an employee tests COVID-19 positive

  • Create and test an emergency communication network for employees

  • Establish communication with the local and state authorities

  • Establish disability discrimination law while deciding which employees can return back to work, according to their medical conditions


Employer’s safety protocols for staff returning to work

Employers need to formulate their return to normalcy as safely as possible. Government and CDC safety guidelines can help them prepare for workplace return, after a long coronavirus lockdown. 

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Some areas employers need to cover

  • Monitor temperature 

Limit access points inside your workplace premises and check employee temperature in an outside area. The employee with temperature 100° and more must be sent home. Ask the employee to maintain a 6-foot distance from other staff members, while they move to go out. 

  • Wear masks

The staff members, who handle the public need to wear a mask. If you are unable to supply masks ask the employees to make their own. CDC has recommended that common people can wear masks made from cotton cloth for protection from coronavirus. If you are not a needlework person wear a scarf or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. 

Wearing masks at the workplace will reduce the risk of getting infected or spreading the virus [sometimes people are not aware that they are coronavirus positive because there are no visible symptoms].

  • Talk less and email more

People release aerosol particles while speaking. The loud you talk the more possibility of more germs and viruses get released increases. Employees need to avoid physical communication. It is wise to email a text or sends messages because maintaining 6-feet distance reduces the risk of getting infected, the best communication method is chatting online or via phone

  • Disinfect high touch surfaces

Sanitizers and disinfectant wipes are not easily available but you will need to keep common surfaces like tabletops, restrooms, and doors clean. Therefore use homemade disinfectant sprays and wipes. You can find how to make it on YouTube. 

Consider adding extra handwashing stations. Prepare signage or instruction for visitors and employees to avoid confusion associated with containment practices on reopening. 

  • Shut common areas

Break or lunchrooms need to be shut down. Encourage employees to take a break at their desks or limit the number of employees in common areas for lunch, but maintain a safe distance. 

  • Maintain distance all the time

Evaluate the physical workplace layout to ensure there is a minimum of 6 feet distance between two workstations. It is wise to stay as far as possible from your coworkers. Employees in their cubicles and offices can easily maintain distance. Employees that work closely need to maintain minimum space distance. Be creative to work efficiently with a smaller amount of close contact. Distancing is necessary to limit the spread!

  • High-risk employees need to be protected

According to COVID-19 data people having underlying medical issues or whose immunity is compromised are at high risk to get infected. Employees need to prioritize their health and ask for time off or work from home. Employers can offer financial relief to such employees if they are unable to return to work. 

  • Carry lunch and beverages

Coffee machines and refrigerators in the office are high traffic areas that need to be closed temporarily. Vending machines are safe to use when everyone washes their hands before and after they hit the buttons. Businesses can ask employees to carry utensil dispensers and single-serve straw from their homes. 

  • Modify work hours, if necessary

Shifts or staggering hours may be needed to make sure employees maintain sufficient distancing. Alternate workdays for different employee teams or groups will help in the social distancing needs. 

  • Employee training

Employers may offer video training to employees returning to work, so they are aware of the new rules. HR needs to train supervisors on the best way to enforce the social distancing policy. Encourage employees to wash hands properly at specified frequencies. 

Employers need to stay updated about COVID-19 protocols recommended by CDC and mandated by the government.  

To learn even more about managing remote teams and keeping employees working at home highly engaged, download our ebook now.

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About Author: Andrew Dominik is the founder of Quality Guest Post , the leading content marketing site. He has considerable experience in internet marketing and business development. His areas of expertise are the development of marketing goals and strengthen online brand reputation. He loves to write about social media, entrepreneurship, business growth, and startups.

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