As Covid-19 lockdown restrictions start to ease and workplaces reopen businesses need to take responsibility for keeping your employees and customers safe. Whilst the UK Government recommendation is to “make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option”, it does mean that businesses who are struggling to do so can start to plan a return to the office.
This can mean all kinds of changes need to happen, whether that is reduced capacity, increased handwashing or sanitiser stations or installing plastic shields between desks. The UK Government has released these guidelines for offices and contact centres; Working safely during the coronavirus. These guidelines will allow your business to start operating again from your office location and ensure that you are putting the health & safety of your staff at the top of the agenda.
In addition to the physical changes you might need to make in the office, there are strict guidelines you need to ensure your workforce are following. For example, whilst social distancing is in place, employees must stay 2m from each other until this guideline changes. Making this information visible to employees and gaining acknowledgement that they are happy with the rules and will stick to them will not only keep the workplace safe but also give your employees peace of mind when they return.
The likelihood is that your employees will have mixed feelings about returning to work. Whilst there are going to be feelings of excitement to return and see colleagues again and generally get out of the house, there is also going to be a lot of apprehension about the safety. After many months in lockdown you may find employees will be anxious about what “returning to normal” might mean. It is your job to share what you are doing to provide a safe working environment and open up a clear communication for employees to share any concerns with you.
How can Appogee HR help?
As a UK business, you must run a risk assessment to assess what changes need to be made and what areas of your company can start functioning again under these new safety conditions and which cannot yet reopen. The risk assessment and action plan should be shared with your employees and invite them to comment. Appogee HR enables you to upload your assessment and plans to share with your workforce and request comment and or acknowledgement of the new rules, using the very simple workflow process. This also applies to any new policies that you choose to put in place as a result of this assessment.
As this pandemic is ever changing and government guidance evolves, it is almost certain that you will need to make changes to your plans and rules around the workplace. Appogee HR fully supports versioning of documents and policies. This makes it simple for you to update the version and re-sharing with employees, either to read the updates or to read and acknowledge the latest version. A full history of previous version acknowledgements with data and time stamps are retained for your records.
All in all, Appogee HR can really help your business to keep your Covid-19 returning to work process and policies open, shared and acknowledged by your workforce, therefore keeping everyone safe and giving staff peace of mind when they do step back into the office.
Whilst in this blog we link to the UK Government advice, there is guidance put in place for each country as they pass through the different stages of the pandemic. Please ensure you review the relevant advice and follow this as you reopen your place of work.
If you’re looking for the best HR software to support your company documents management, look no further than Appogee HR! Why not try us for yourself for 14 days to find out if we could work for you? It’s completely free to try us out, there’s no need for a credit card and no obligation to purchase, alternatively you can request a demo with a member of our team.