Preparedness and the creation of a plan for employees is key to the return-to work process. You should be open to their suggestions and concerns, as they are unique for each business and every workforce.
Create an Employee Safety Plan
Although almost every leader knows the importance of being prepared for disasters such as fires or inclement weather events, COVID-19 planning for many is still relatively new.
Although the basics of hygiene and social distancing are obvious, you might not be aware of steps such as placing markers in public places, or deciding whether food is allowed in break-rooms.
It is better to follow all applicable federal, state, and local guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for employers and business has articles on considerations for small businesses, restaurants and bars as well as gambling operations.
Create a Screening and Testing Program
A screening and testing program can be a great way for your employees to feel at ease and keep them safe. You can do as little as checking their temperature each day, or as complex as testing, Quarantine Management, and contact tracing.
Our Employee Health Services team is here to help. We have the right plan for you, whether your employees are interested in having their screening done by TheWellnessFirm or if you want to work with us to develop a customized on-site screening and testing solution. Find out more about our COVID-19 resources for your workforce.
Enhance Your Building’s Ventilation Systems
The Environmental Protection Agency states that proper ventilation can reduce the amount of airborne contaminants in your workplace. The CDC also stated that indoor spaces are more dangerous than outdoor spaces, which can make it difficult to keep people separated and less ventilated. 2 Limit the number of people who live in the building, or limit their use in certain rooms.
Each state, and possibly towns and counties that they occupy, has its own recommended capacity for businesses and public space. This varies depending on the type of business and current COVID-19 spread in the community. For more information, please visit the website of your state government.
Keep your HVAC system running
According to the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ventilation and filtration provided through your HVAC system can be an effective way of potentially reducing the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thereby reducing the risk of transmission.
To protect employees from low or high temperatures, business owners should keep their HVAC systems running. It is not recommended to disable these systems in order to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
You have the chance to make the Return to Work process a team experience as a leader. Employees should feel free to voice their concerns and share them with you before returning to work. Share the whole plan with your employees, including any work-from-home options or split shifts.
It is also important to adjust work schedules and provide childcare for employees who need help balancing work and family life. You should also work with members of your team who have family members at high risk for health issues.
Give your employees a head start
Your workforce will appreciate a practical welcome box. It does more than just show that you care about their well-being and health. They can use it every day to protect their workplace, and provide valuable tools such as disinfectant wipes, hand soap, and face covers.
Be open to the suggestions and concerns of your employees. As with adjusting to working from home, it took time. Coming back to work will take a lot of support, coaching, and time. These steps can be incorporated and you will help to make your workday as normal as possible by remaining open.
This post was written by a medical professional at The Wellness Firm. The Wellness Firm services include workplace flu clinics, flu vaccinations, onsite event Covid testing, physical exams for employment, as well as American Heart Association CPR certification classes. Founded by local Firemen, The Wellness Firm has been providing a safer Tampa Bay since 2006.x