Is working from home the new norm?
We all know how much of a baffling time this is for everyone as we are all trying our best to adapt to the everchanging restrictions. There are numerous questions that many of us would like to be answered by means of confusion, especially in the office. Businesses that are office-based are under a lot of pressure currently with having to adhere to the hygiene and social distancing measures.
Isolation and anxiety are two of the biggest issues that employees could face in the coming weeks especially if there is to be a second lockdown or more harsh restrictions set in place; also possibly resulting in having to work from home on a mandatory basis. Prolonged periods of working from home could have major effects on employees’ mentality. In order to reduce this, employers should ensure that they are regularly checking up on their employees to ask about their wellbeing and to direct the help of supportive services where they are needed – open communication is key to distinguishing the trusting relationship between you and your employer.
Here are 3 useful questions that includes advice for both the employer and employees:
- What should I do if my employee is anxious about returning to work?
If any of your employees are anxious about returning to their place of work, the first thing you should do is contact them over the phone to make sure you narrow down what their exact worries are. When you are familiar with their queries, see if they would like to be invited into the office to have an inspection of all the new safety measures in order to make them feel more at ease about when they do return. If the anxiousness is still a concern, see if you can both come to an agreement to how you will be working in the future.
- I am anxious about returning to work, but I cannot work from home. What should I do?
Employers are advised to make responsible decisions during these bleak circumstances, and to ensure they listen to their employees in order to enhance their support. Again, an agreement should be discussed between both parties in order to happily move forward.
- Should my employee be working from home?
Currently, the new guidelines that were introduced on 24th September were that office workers should work from home if able to do so over the Winter months. The guidance also outlines that where an employer, in consultation with their employee, agrees that the employee can carry out their normal duties from home should do so. However, anyone who cannot work from home (this includes performance concerns) should go to their place of work.
Remember, the employee may be feeling anxious about returning so it is important to keep communication lines open with the employee and provide reassurance.
When advising your employees to return back to work, make sure that you have an up to date risk assessment to ensure everyone’s safety, and it is important that the office is Covid Safe. Ensure an efficient strategy is in place.
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