For the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses across the United States to either temporarily shut down operations entirely or convert to a distributed and remote workforce model. Now, slowly but surely, those businesses are beginning to facilitate the gradual process of returning to the workplace. Of course, every return to work strategy will vary from one business to the next. It will necessarily depend on a variety of factors, including local policies that are in place and the physical layout of the workplace that they’ll be returning to.
That said, there are a few general truisms that apply to most employees today who are preparing to return to work, regardless of the business and industry in which they work. In particular, there are certain questions that all employees have regarding what the return to work process will look like and how it will affect them personally. As employers, we have a responsibility to anticipate these questions and address them strategically and satisfactorily.
With that in mind, here are three common questions that employees have about the return to work – and how employers can set about answering them.
- Will the return to work happen in stages, or will all employees be expected to return at the same time? In some cases, it will make the most sense – both in terms of logistics and safety – for employers to reintroduce their employees to the workplace in phases. Make sure that you understand all of the policies and best practices that are in place in your region and industry so that you can have your employees return in such a way that adheres to these policies.
- Will we be required to wear personal protective equipment at all times once we return to work? Personal protective equipment (PPE) is – and will continue to be – a key component in the nationwide effort to flatten the pandemic curve. In light of that, it’s crucial for employers to communicate with their teams about their PPE policy once employees return to the workplace.
- What social distancing measures will be enforced in the workplace? Social distancing – just like PPE – has been critical to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. This will continue to be true until a vaccine is created, which means employers who oversee the return to work process need to have a concrete plan in place for maintaining social distancing in the workplace. Check out these OSHA guidelines to learn more!
At PrideStaff, we’re committed to helping employers create a stronger workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more about our professional services or to get started on your search for your next star employee, please contact us today!