RETURNING TO WORK AFTER COVID-19
You would have seen that various states and territories around Australia have already eased some of their own restrictions, while others, such as Victoria, will re-examine state-of-emergency measures from 11 May.
As we await these important updates, as business owners and operators, we now move from the day-to-day management of this crisis to planning for how we emerge out the other side as a better company and workplace.
As part of planning, it is also an opportunity to look at a range of areas to improve and adapt, including how we continue to support our employees with greater flexibility, while keeping everyone safe.
It’s also a chance to focus on a range of work practises; such as improving internal processes, digital capability and the way we service our clientele.
While we wait for further clarity on the next steps, including plans to return to working from office locations, we should carefully consider the best way forward.
Our decision-making should be guided by the latest Government and health advice, which you can find online, such as this link to Safe Work Australia: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces
It is our responsibility to start considering an approach that will find a balance between what is best for our business, our clients and also our team.
Here are a few things you may wish to consider to prepare for the next phase:
- Downloading COVIDSafe: the new Australian government contact tracing app
- Consider a Flu vaccination program for all staff members
- Manage employee numbers returning to work by ‘staggering’
- Maintain remote working option
- Maintain a rigorous cleaning schedule and continue strict hygiene procedures
- Rethink and reconfigure your physical workplace to keep a safe distance
- Rebuild workplace morale and increase motivation through professional counselling
- Review infrastructure needs and keep software up-to-date
- Maintain regular communication with clients and staff
- Embed your COVID-19 learnings (such as virtual collaboration) and improve on past practises
‘Returning to work’ programs are essential for businesses to start developing, regardless of lockdown’s review and outcome next week.
Keeping in mind the areas listed above when developing your plan for transitioning back into the office will ensure your team has a successful return.