On the 13th May, people who could not work from home were told that they should return and maintain social distancing as much as possible. Although this was deemed as a controversial decision, especially by WHO, employers now have to contemplate how to ensure safety as well as reassure staff that appropriate measures have been taken.
To mitigate the risk of cross-infection, many offices have implemented hygiene policies that require more frequent cleaning and hand sanitisers placed around the building. Additionally, Transport for London (TFL) has made it mandatory for passengers to wear masks on public transport.
Other than the above steps, what can you do?
One way to combat the spread of Covid-19 is to limit the number of employees you allow into the office/building at one time.
Another way to overcome this is to stagnate working hours/days. This tends to be the approach bigger corporations have chosen to take. Creating a rota deciding specific days and hours will not only limit employee contact but also allow for productivity.
One way signs
As nonessential stores have reopened, this approach can be seen across England, such as the Post Office. Placing stickers on the floors to guide employees and keep a one-way system throughout the office as much as possible will help minimise the risk of contamination. This also extends to the lifts and corridors, in order to enforce social distancing.
Hot-desking should be temporarily banned for employees as a general rule. This means assigned seating should be moved to accommodate the social distancing parameter.
Avoid in-person meetings
Using digital tools such as Zoom, is a great way to maintain rapport and conduct meetings which otherwise would not be permitted.
Where digital meetings are not possible, ensure the meeting room is well ventilated, the desks are disinfected before and after and employees are ideally not facing each other with social distancing.
Listen to your employees
Flexibility is key! Consider whether it is really necessary for that employee to be physically in the workplace. If it is, it is important to listen and act upon any concerns they voice. For example, if they are in contact with large numbers of people consider implementing rules about face masks. Also, if an employee is unwell not necessarily due to Covid-19, allow them to not work, this will lessen their anxiety about how others will perceive them.
Seek governmental advice
Visit www.gov.uk for more guidance specific to your type of business. Here you will find a wealth of information targeted at industries and sectors that have not been addressed above.
Remember, we are all in this together and hope that the above helps bring about some sort of normalcy as we begin to resume our lives as we knew it.
About Akoni: Akoni is an award-winning UK cash platform, which provides a marketplace to SMEs and charities, as well as to individuals through our white label distribution partners including IFAs, wealth platforms, accountants and SME hubs. Akoni uses innovative technology to personalise cash planning solutions for clients, and also provides a full API solution to banks and insurance clients.