With the easing of restrictions, thoughts are turning to what the new normal will look like at work. Across the country businesses are re-opening and employees are returning to work. However, it’s likely that the workplaces we are returning to are going to be vastly different from those that we left.
The past 16 months has shown employers in the UK that a more flexible approach can be taken to remote working. As a result, it is likely that a large number of organisations will choose to adopt a hybrid working model as restrictions are lifted. This means an improvement in work-life balance which will likely boots productivity amongst employees.
Although the restrictions are coming to an end, it unfortunately doesn’t mean that coronavirus will cease to exist. The need to self-isolate will still apply to those that test positive after 19th July. Additionally, until August 16th, those that have come in close contact with someone that has tested positive will also still have to self-isolate. After this date under 18s and people that are fully vaccinated no longer need to self-isolate. This means workplaces may opt to still implement social distancing measures in order to mitigate the risks of any potential outbreaks. Employers may also choose to include COVID-19 Certification as part of the transition back to the workplace. This is facilitated through the NHS app and includes vaccination statuses and the results of any recent tests.
Some employees may be returning to work after a considerable period of time off after furlough. This may be a difficult change for them meaning extra support may be needed. This may mean a phased return is required in some instances or additional training to refresh existing skills that may not have been utilised for some time.
Line Managers are going to play a vital role during this period of transition and ensuring it is successful. Line Managers should have regular check ins with staff returning to the workplace to ensure any issues are dealt with quickly and effectively. This will also allow them to understand if any adjustments need to be made and what support each employee needs during the process. It is likely that a number of employees will face certain levels of anxiety and apprehension meaning it is incredibly important to have clear communication during this time.
We have put together a three-part return to work series, available to download for free now! This should help with what’s important when you reopen and return your employees to their place of work and to a better normality. For more advice or help with returning to a better normal just get in touch – drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org