HR Checklist to return to the office

The pandemic has caused many employees to work from home during the lockdown. Now that restrictions have eased off, employees will start to go back to work in September. This is a guide about what employers need to include when employees start to return to the office.

What employers should consider when returning to the office.

Since the restrictions have eased in England. Businesses are starting to get their employees to return to offices. So, it is important that employers know the factors to think about when returning to the office. Below are a few factors that employers should make a note of if they are planning to return to the office.

Flexibility

Flexibility at work requires careful planning. Having flexibility working model can benefit both the employee and the company. The majority of UK companies have established hybrid working models that have started this month. It would be reasonable to have some staff in office between 2-3 days and some work from home.

Health and safety measures

Before employees return to the office it is essential to have a risk assessment is done to ensure health and safety are met. Below is a list of things that employers need to consider:
  • identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the Covid-19 virus
  • who could be at risk
  • how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk
To keep everyone safe there should be some health and safety measures in places such as hand sanitisers, antibacterial wipes and social distance. This would stop employees worrying about coming to the office. It has not been made mandatory to take the vaccine but it has been highly recommended by UK employers and the government. Many would feel safer to return to the office knowing that others have been vaccinated. Furthermore, if employees feel unsafe about others who have not taken the vaccine they can opt for the hybrid working model. covid safety measure When returning to the office it can be risky because you might not know if someone has been having symptoms. Many employers are encouraged by the government to sign up for the testing programme. As a result, both the employees and employer would be able to test regularly even though they don’t have symptoms. There are two types of tests that can be done: a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) which is usually sent for processing at a lab. This can take up to 72 hours. This means that you are potentially put out of work for the next two to three days. The alternative is LFD (Lateral flow device) test. This can take up to 30 minutes for the results after taking the test. The best one is the lateral flow device for those returning to the office because it is cheaper, faster and efficient.

Mental health support

Due to the pandemic, the number of adults who had reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms rose from 10% to 19%. When lockdown started it had increased to 39%. This could impact the employees’ mental health at work. The employee assistance programme could benefit those that suffer from mental health by providing support. There are many things you can do to ensure you keep a healthy state of mind such as:
  • Keeping an open line of communication with others.
  • Catch up on news from your workplace to mentally prepare for workloads.
  • Re-familiarise yourself with the workplace, getting comfortable at work is very important for the mind.
  • Ask to return to work gradually.
  • Start to readjust to your working hours.
  • Make use of peer support services.

How we can help

Want to know more? Contact us today on 0207 537 6631 or leave us an email at info@happiegroup.com and we can give more information!