Photo of two office workers bumping elbows.

July 30, 2020

How to welcome your team back, safely

In a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers at the beginning of May 2020, 58% of respondents indicated that they anticipate changing or having alternative shifts to reduce employee exposure. Sure, everyone is expected to remain social distancing for the next few months, but there’s got to be more that employers can do for their workers, especially since 8-9 hours of their day is spent in the office. It begs the question: what more can we do?

How can we make employees feel secure in the workplace?

Follow federal, state and local guidelines. 

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s incredibly important to stay up to date with the ever-changing regulations that revolve around the coronavirus. Every state is opening up in different ways and at different speeds, and the stipulations need to be followed by each and every employee.

Signs can help create a sense of relief. 

Elevators, bathrooms, or any other common area should be sanitized often and posted with the time and date, as to create a sense of reassurance that the company is taking extra steps in keeping employees safe.

Masks and sanitizer are the new norm. 

While you don’t have to necessarily force any of your employees to wear a mask, it should be wholeheartedly encouraged, particularly if any individual outside your company comes to the office. Install hand sanitizer stations if you do not have them already, and offer cleaning wipes as every individual is returning to their desks.

Come up with a schedule.

 It’s not a bad idea to follow the direction that certain states are taking. By opening your office in phases, you minimize the amount of people within the building, and therefore, reduce exposure. Allowing those with their own offices that have doors could be phase one, while the majority of employees who work within cubicles on a floor may be in the last phase.

Be flexible. 

Everyone has a different story, and more than likely, an employee has been directly affected by the virus somehow, some way. Expect some reluctance, and allow those who do not feel comfortable to continue working from home.

Covid-19 is unprecedented in our lifetimes, and even in the aftermath, adjusting to it isn’t easy. Many have never faced such profound uncertainty. Perspective is everything in times like these. As human resource professionals, we need to be there as candidates and team members turn to us with the struggles they are dealing with.

With states slowly opening back up, people are more excited than ever to find a spot at just the right company. This is exactly why Atlantic wants to be there to assist you in streamlining your talent acquisition process from beginning to end: we are here to help you with any task. To read more tips on how to move forward with welcoming your employers back into the office, reach the article by SHRM here.