Going Back to The Office in 2022: How to Do it Safely – As vaccines become more accessible and businesses consider going back to in-person work, measures need to be taken to ensure the health and safety of all employees. COVID-19 still poses a considerable risk, and companies need to evolve to accommodate the ebbs and flows that this pandemic causes.
A safe work environment may look different from business to business; however, these general ideas should be considered before allowing employees to return to in-person work.
Providing accessible testing options for your employees is the best way of ensuring that no one is coming to work with the virus and spreading it to coworkers. After all, testing is the only way to know with certainty whether someone has been infected with COVID-19.
You can either have rapid tests available for your employees to take on-site every few days or utilize private COVID testing services in the workplace. Certain healthcare businesses provide concierge testing where a healthcare professional will come directly to your office and test your employees.
Paid Sick Days
Should one of your employees contract COVID-19, they shouldn’t be worried that taking a few days off to recover will significantly set them back. By offering paid sick days, your employees can take the time they need to recover without the work responsibilities or missed paycheques looming over them.
Hybrid Work Options
Offering hybrid work options is a great way to minimize the number of people in the office at once. By having assigned days where certain employees will work in-office, and others will work from home, you will be able to social distance better within the office and help keep everyone safe.
Giving your employees the flexibility to work from home will also make it easier if an employee comes in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and needs to isolate for a few days. Additionally, many people have grown accustomed to the flexibility that working from home provides, and a hybrid model of working may be the way of the future. Implementing this model now is a great way of showing your employees that you care about their needs and thus will help you retain employees as the world transitions out of the pandemic.
Increased Sanitation Measures
Over the past two years, hand sanitiser has become a staple in every establishment you walk into. While this is a great measure that should continue to be in place, if you are hoping to have your employees return to the office, you must also develop a plan for how you will keep the entire space sanitary. This could include cleaning shared spaces, such as the washroom, break room, and kitchen, more frequently.
Mask and Social Distance Policies
At this point, wearing a mask should almost be second nature. If you are planning on having your employees back in an enclosed space, implementing a mask policy is essential for ensuring the safety of all employees. This is especially important now because the Omicron variant is extremely transmissible by air.
Where possible, social distance rules should also be in place. This may mean spreading out your desks, having fewer people attend meetings in smaller rooms, and setting a limit on how many people can enter the elevator at once.