Returning to the office after Covid - How to make it a successful return.

Returning to the office after Covid - How to make it a successful return.

"The opposite of an underminer is a supporter.­  When colleagues are supportive, they go out of their way to be givers rather than takers, working to enhance our produc­tivity, makes us look good, share ideas and provide timely help." – Adam Grant

Employees are counting on their employers to help them get back to working in the workplace safely.  They will also need to support each other to carry out their roles safely & effectively too.  The health and safety of our workforce needs to be our number one priority.

How can we ensure that we put safety first?

Clear Concept

We need to ensure that we have a clear concept of safeguarding our people, our biggest asset.  We need them to feel comfortable, protected, and safe to happily return to the workplace and be productive in their roles.  We need to have the right protocols in place.

Risk Assessment & Follow Up

I am sure we have all done Covid specific risk assessments; it is good to review those risk assessments with the latest government updates in mind.  We need to be in the strongest position to ask employees to return to the workplace safely.­    Companies that have complied with their obligations will be in the best place to return to the workplace succes­sfully.

Clean and Safe Space

We must ensure that we can evidence that we have put in place appropriate measures to maximise the effec­tiveness of providing a safe working environment.­  Areas for consi­dera­tion are increased workplace cleaning, changing office layouts, visible guidance on keeping a safe distance and supplying safety equipment.­  Masks, gloves and anti­bac­te­rial wipes will all help to achieve the overall safety objective.

Entering & Exiting the Workplace

Covid has given employers another aspect to consider, the movement of people into the workplace.  If we can stagger start times, finish times and lunch breaks, this will help to keep everyone safe & comfortable.  Gone are the days where the breakout area overflows at lunchtime!  Having a system that allows you to manage the arrival, departure and general movement of staff within the workplace is an essential part of minimising risk.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Returning to the workplace may be very stressful for some colleagues.­  Remember to include mental health and wellbeing in your risk assessment.­  If you believe someone struggles with their mental health, an individual risk assessment may be a practical action.­  Under­standing the individual mindsets of your team members will help you to communicate most effectively with them.


Remember to train individuals on their respon­sibi­lities and company expectations formally.

Emergency Backup Plan

Finally, ensure that you have a plan in readiness for a breakout.

Pam Steed

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