One thing you’ll be used to us saying is ‘communicate, communicate, communicate.’ Coming back into a physical working space, whether that was at Alert Level 3 or now at Alert Level 2, will bring about different levels of anxiety across your team. From Joan who just can’t wait to get back into the office and see everyone again, through to Bob who is totally freaking out about being surrounded by possible virus carriers.
First up, hopefully you’ve had your office deep-cleaned (if not, do it!). Now tell your staff as part of your weekly update. Spell out exactly what it is that you’ve done to prepare your office space – from the cleaning through to safety procedures and everything in between.
Have you prepared your team so they know what to expect when they get into the office.
- Will they have to fill out health questionnaires?
- Do they need to download an app?
- What are you plans for contact tracing?
The government has said that it’s unnecessary to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) unless it was required before COVID-19 – BUT, if it makes your team feel more comfortable to wear a mask, then make it optional and have masks available, along with soap and paper towels for hand hygiene and obviously the essential hand sanitiser.
Another important update to reassure your staff about is your organisation’s business position post COVID-19.
Staff may be feeling just as vulnerable as business owners right now and worried about the financial position of their workplace. Our recommendation is to always be as transparent and open as you can about the challenges the workplace may be up against.
Reinforce the importance of sharing the load and remind employees to seek help through workplace employment assistance programmes or the free government councillor help line (call or text 1737) if they’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to a trained professional.
Don’t forget your customers. Over the last few weeks our inboxes have been overflowing with invitations from local hospitality businesses to come and order delicious takeaway offerings. Few of them have thought about explaining their health and safety procedures. We love a good Pizza Caprese (and dumplings, did we mention dumplings?) – but we’d love it even more if we knew how you’re planning to ensure the safety of our food!
Check out these handy guidelines.