Important Issues to Consider as We Head Back to the Office

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“Ultimately, the greatest lesson that Covid-19 can teach humanity is that we are all in this together.” —Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Post-2020, while our days might never be the same again, we have to prepare for life after corona.

Now that some semblance to the old “normal” is coming back, it is time to understand how we can prepare for this transition’s challenges.

Offices are finally re-opening, and vaccines are on the way! While we may not part with the work-from-home arrangement(since it has proven to be so conducive), offices worldwide are most likely to develop a schedule wherein an employee’s workdays are divided equally between the office and home.

So, let us get started on the essential protocols to follow in the upcoming days and make the segue into work a smooth, and hassle-free one.

Questions to Ask Yourself before Returning to Work

Before you rise to the bugle call and return to work, there are a few pertinent questions that you should ask yourself –

  1. Do you think you have contracted Covid-19? Or have you been in the proximity of someone who has?

If you have any doubts regarding your physical wellbeing, you should probably visit a hospital to get tested. Or, you can call your family doctor for a check-up. If you develop symptoms, isolate yourself immediately. Working in office is out of the question for you.

  • The next question to ask yourself is, are you at risk for any illnesses?

If you or any of your family membersare at high risk due to co-morbidities or old age or are prone to contract illnesses quickly, then going back to work might not be a good option.

Read up on how to stay safe against the spread of coronavirus.  Follow these rules and keep yourself and your family secure.

  • If you are a parent are you putting your young children at risk?

At home, if you are the primary carer for your young children, going back to work should be rethought. You can try and convince your bosses to give you a different set of responsibilities or continue the work from home arrangement for the time being.

  • The last and most vital question that you can ask yourself before resume back to work is – how you can minimize the number of people with whom you communicate?

Since Covid-19 spreads through coughing, sneezing or even the saliva of an infected individual, try to limit the number of persons with whom you come in direct contact.

And remember, masks are a must!

Tips to Keep in Mind Before Bringing Back Workers

As a manager or employer who has to make a call on the workplace arrangements during life after Covid-19, you must be confused about whether to bring in the whole workforce or allow people to return in stages. Here are some tips that you can follow before everyone resumes working in office

  1. Bring back only the staff that you need. There are employees whose job role allows them to work from home. Let them continue with the work from home arrangement. However,make sure to bring in those workers whose contribution is vital to the business running smoothly.
  2. Arrange separate schedules for those who are working so that the office is never at full capacity. Create a roster so that everyone maintains social distancing norms.
  3. Working in officewill involve new rules. There might be no coffee breaks together or sitting next to each other; you will also have to prepare for frequenthandwashes and sanitising. There could even be restrictions on the number of persons attending meetings.
  4. Working in office, right now, is going to be a time for digital cleansing as well. Since your employees’ private laptops will be connected to the company’s servers, it will be your duty to run malware scans on their devices to keep your servers protected.

How to Stay Safe in the Workplace?

Once working in office starts in full swing, there are some protocols and safety rules that you should keep in mind during the time you spend there. Here are some pointers to follow so that your work life is made just that much more secure!

  1. Stay at home if you know or have come in contact with someone who has Covid-19. Take the test yourself and keep your superiors at work informed.
  2. Wear a mask at all times. Even when you are at your desk, do not take a risk and leave yourself unguarded.
  3. Wash your hands frequently, say every two hours. Also, use sanitisers with higher alcohol content and make an effort not to touch your nose, eyes or mouth.
  4. Spend time disinfecting your workstation and the objects that are used continuously by everyone. Follow all stipulated protocols to make the experience of working in office a safe one.  

Working in office can be an exciting prospect, especially if you have not met your favourite colleagues in a long while. But keep in mind the pandemic is far from over and safety protocols have to be adhered to strictly!

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