Returning to work after COVID-19
May 22, 2020
The Covid-19 outbreak has led to the UK government imposing extreme social distancing regulations in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease. These measures have had a dramatic impact on daily life and left many people confined to their homes for several weeks. Businesses have been forced to adapt to social distancing measures and many companies are currently running remotely with employees working from home. It is anticipated that these regulations will start to be relaxed over the coming weeks and this has left employers questioning when their staff can return to work and how this can be done safely. Managing a crisis like COVID-19 is certainly not easy, but there is no reason why your company can’t come out of the pandemic stronger, more efficient, and with higher earning potential. With this in mind, here are some useful tips on returning to work after COVID-19:

Control the volume of employees

Large numbers of staff returning to one shared workspace creates a huge risk of spreading and contracting viruses. For that reason, employers must manage the number of employees in the workplace and maintain social distancing measures once employees start to return to work. This will help to minimise the risk of infection and protect your workforce once they are able to return to work. Implementing an online workplace management system such as SEDES is a simple yet effective way for you to manage the number of employees entering your premises. This innovative technology allows employees to book their own desk in a controlled system that makes sure social distancing is enforced. This, in turn, will boost efficiency within your company and help you control your occupancy levels at all times.

Create a safer working environment

The return to work will be gradual and social distancing measures should still be observed to protect your workforce and prevent the spread of viruses. With this in mind, employers should review their workplace and consider updating the physical setup to create a safer working environment. This may involve moving workstations to increase the physical space between employees, implementing a more rigorous cleaning schedule, and conducting conferences using communication software such as Skype to limit the number of people attending work meetings. Depending on your working environment, you may also want to consider providing your staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, and antibacterial gel. Make sure you provide your team with adequate training on how to use PPE effectively in the workplace – you can find more information on this by visiting the government website.

Explore financial support schemes

Many companies across the UK have suffered financial losses as a result of the restrictions brought on by COVID-19. Fortunately, a fantastic variety of financial aid has been introduced to help support businesses that have suffered losses as a result of the pandemic. For instance, on the 4th of May, the government announced a new Bounce Back Loan Scheme that has been launched to allow small and medium-sized businesses to gain access to funding more quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to government guidelines, this scheme will allow companies to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000. There will be no fees applicable for the first 12 months, after which a 2.5% annual interest rate will apply. All business owners should explore what financial aid is available to support their company through these challenging times. You can find advice on the government’s financial support schemes and check if you are eligible by clicking here.

Final thoughts

The UK has been in lockdown for several weeks and businesses across the UK are still trying to adapt to the new regulations in place. Sadly, many companies have struggled with the disruption to their business operations due to remote working, social isolation, and travel restrictions. As a result, many businesses will be pleased to hear that these measures are due to be relaxed over the coming weeks. However, the reintroduction to the office must be handled carefully to minimise the impact on productivity and business efficiency. Use the above tips to help you plan and prepare for a smooth transition back into normal working life.