For the last 4-5 months, people used to live dreadful lives due to the coronavirus outbreak. Researchers haven’t found any positive solution yet. This outbreak also impacts the world economy, as a result, many people have become unemployed so far. So, people around the world have to start their normal life as well as begin to go back to work or start looking for a new job.
Returning to work after COVID-19 will be difficult as lives have changed as well as the work environment. To ease up the situation, as an employee you should take care of a few things. Apart from that, the management or the employer also needs to make some modifications in workplace policies, workplace environment, and their approach towards the employees.
You and your employer should follow these 6 steps to ensure your workplace is ready to start a functioning post-pandemic.
1. Make your workplace secure
You should focus on health and safety first when you return to your regular job. The first step you should take is to make the workplace safe for you and all your co-workers.
Practically the employer must recruit expert cleaning staff to deeply clean the entire office. Make sure only high-quality disinfectant or cleaning solutions are used to kill germs. It should also be noticed that proper cleaning is done in every corner of your office, including common areas, individual workspaces, and the storage rooms. The carpets and AC air ducts should also be cleaned.
Employers must stock these things to make the workplace safe:
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand soap
- Paper towels or tissues
- Disinfectant spray
- Face masks
As no one has worked in your workplace for the last few months, deep cleaning will put all the employees at ease and they will feel safe and secure while doing their daily work.
2. Focus on personal hygiene
After taking care of the workplace cleaning work, you should focus on the personal hygiene of all the employees, including you. Take the initiative to motivate your co-workers to maintain safe distancing and good health habits.
Ask your co-workers to wash their hands at regular intervals. Keep distancing yourself while at meetings as much as possible. Always wear a mask, even if you are alone in a room. Make them use hand sanitizers if they get in contact with any foreign substance, such as packages, boxes, or other things. Ask others to use tissues while sneezing. The company managers and team leaders should be double cautious about maintaining such habits. When employees see their superiors are maintaining proper hygiene at work, they’re more likely to do so.
You may ask your employers to hang posters in common areas of the office. You may include this information:
- How to sanitize yourself and stuff while you are in the office
- Use as many tissues as possible if needed
- Frequent handwashing practices
- Information about COVID-19 symptoms
- Inform the employer or any superior if anyone feels ill
Keep a constant supply of hand sanitizers and disinfectants in common areas so that employees can use them properly. Place a hand sanitizer near the entrance of the office, too.
3. Socialize while keeping social distance
It is important to socialize with all the employees after such long isolation. Many workers might feel confused as they might feel like they’re meeting their coworkers for the first time. Other workers may feel overwhelmed to see their friends from work. As a result, the overall productivity may be affected and their health too.
So, you should help your employer to tackle this situation and boost social interaction. You may ask your co-workers to introduce themselves once again through a session. Employees may get to know each other once again and share their experiences gathered during the outbreak.
Employers should be flexible with their employees when they are socializing again. They should provide some free time during office hours so that they can enjoy returning to work after such a long time. Once the employees settle down, the employer can initiate the normal work system once again.
4. Support each other mentally
Living in self-isolation may affect employees’ mental health. Employers must be aware of the impact and have resources ready to help their employees.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health added: “People placed in quarantine or self-isolation may experience a wide range of feelings, including fear, anger, sadness, irritability, guilt or confusion. They may find it hard to sleep.”
COVID – 19 pandemic also increases stress, anxiety, or depression in every human being, more or less.
You must discuss with your employer about keeping the employees mentally fit after this outbreak. It will be difficult to concentrate on a regular work routine after such a long isolation. So, employers should maintain mental health resources such as health hotlines, local treatment centers, therapists, etc. You may also build a team that can deal with mental health issues of employees and convey it to the employers.