The entire human race is currently going through some of the toughest days since the last world war broke out. What was initially believed to be just regular flu soon turned into a pandemic that jeopardized the standard world order. Economies came tumbling, and people all over the world are losing their jobs as several countries went into a state of lockdown.
Many organizations around the world have now resorted to the work from home policy to keep their employees safe and operations running to a certain extent. However, with each passing day, people are only growing anxious about when everything will be normal again. But with no cure developed yet, the overall situation doesn’t seem to get better anytime soon.
Also, a lot of things have changed now, and the old ways of micro-managing a business don’t seem to be valid in today’s date. It’s now time for organizations to start thinking about their approach once the lockdown eases or is over.
To understand this in a better way, let’s quickly check out some of the changes that have taken place and will impact us in the long run.
- Businesses have started establishing a culture of collaboration among the employees as well as their clients and associates using various online tools and resources more than ever before.
- Social distancing has become the new norm, and it is here to remain until there emerges a cure for COVID-19.
- Everyone is now more concerned about maintaining personal hygiene for their own safety and also the others near them.
- Employees could enjoy a better work-life balance with everyone working from home, and no commuting required.
Even though these developments have occurred all of a sudden, it’ll be a crucial task for organizations to abide by these changes to whatever extent they can once the lockdown is relaxed or is lifted entirely by the authorities.
Therefore, to assist you in preparing a post lockdown strategy for resuming normal operations within the organization, I have jotted down the five key points which you need to emphasize.
5 Important Points for Organizations to Consider Post Lockdown Period
1. Make sure your workplace is safe and sanitized
The first and foremost thing that you should do as an employer is to make sure that all your working locations are safe and properly sanitized ahead of marking the first day after the lockdown. For this, instruct the cleaners to use alcohol-based disinfectants, which are proven against many germs and viruses, including the COVID-19. Place hand sanitizers and tissues at all the common areas around the workplace. At the same time, you must also ensure that these things are refilled or replaced from time to time.
Along with this, you must rearrange your workplaces so that there’s at least one meter of space between each employee. And also, encourage all your employees and other staff members to wear a face mask at all times and practice proper etiquette while they cough or sneeze.
2. Classifying your employees with respiratory ailments or other diseases
Even though every one of us is equally vulnerable to the COVID-19, it possesses a threat, especially to those who have any respiratory illness or are suffering from chronic diseases. With this, the other important task for you is to classify your employees who might be suffering from such conditions. Here, it would be better for you to ask these employees to continue with their work from home schedules to keep them as well as the others safe.
Doing this would also allow you to minimize the congestion at the workplace, making adequate space for the employees.
3. Arranging safe transportation means for your employees
If you are familiar with the term “Fomites,” then you must already know why I am suggesting you this point. For those who don’t know, fomites are the objects that are very likely to spread the virus when someone touches or comes in contact with it, and public transportation is one of the hotspots for fomites in general. Employees who use their own vehicles are still relatively safe compared to those who use alternative means to get to their workplace. Hence, you should definitely consider arranging some transportation medium for your employees to mitigate the risk for them coming in contact with the virus.
4. Implementing measures for ensuring psychological safety
The lockdown days have been really tough as we are all caged within the four walls of our house. However, from an employee’s point of view, these days have helped them spend some quality time with their families while being at work at the same time. However, coming out of this period is not going to be an easy affair, as there’ll still be a cloud of uncertainty regarding the pandemic. And this is going to affect the productivity of your employees at the workplace severely. Therefore, you should take all possible measures to ensure that your employees feel psychologically safe while at work.
To support this, you can facilitate them with access to mental health experts. Or you can also organize informal discussion sessions with all to share their experiences and cheer up each other in these times of distress.
5. Minimizing all business-related travels across the organization
Another point to add to your post lockdown strategy checklist is to curb down all non-essential business travels for everyone in the organization. Initiating lockdown and practicing social distancing are only temporary solutions to slow down the spread of COVID-19. So, even after the lockdown is lifted, the risk of COVID-19 will still persist. Therefore, you must make it a point and also encourage everyone to continue with their online collaborations. Not only this work arrangement brings better efficiency, but it’ll also help the organization bring down some of its expenses and be future-ready.
The lockdown happening due to COVID-19 across the world won’t be staying for a very long time. Many businesses have already collapsed during this period, and with every passing day, everyone is growing anxious about when they can go back to their usual way of life. Though forcing people to stay inside their homes looks like a harsh decision, but it was vital to stop the spread of the virus. Even if normalcy returns, it’ll be a very faint one until there emerges a cure for this disease. Ultimately, it is all on us and what measures we take that would keep ourselves safe in this crisis.
The above were a few points that I believe every employer should consider for keeping everyone safe in the workplace during the post lockdown period. Also, we would welcome you to add more to it if you have some better concerns that should be addressed by the organization in the comments section below.