Covid-19 has completely flipped the world of work on its head. Whilst before you may have been used to an open-plan office and were happy to talk to your colleagues during your breaks, the last few months have been filled with working remotely and enjoying the silence that home life has to offer. Now that lockdown has been lifted, it may be time for you and your employees to return to the office. This can be daunting. That’s why it’s up to you to support your employees’ wellbeing as they get used to the workplace. Here is how you do it.
1. Remain in contact during their leave
Although you should not pester your employees every minute of the day, if you have been forced to send your team home to work remotely, or even put them on furlough, keep in contact with them to find out how they are doing. Ask about their personal situation, learn about their worries, and find the best ways to support them. This should help you gain their loyalty and should make it easier to find a solution about how to get them back to the workplace when the lockdown has ended.
2. Be flexible
It is important to put yourself in your workers’ shoes. Not all of them are going to want to immediately return to the workplace. Without proper safety precautions, there is still a chance that they could still catch Covid-19 when they are in the workplace. That’s why you need to be open-minded and potentially support their decision by changing their schedule and maybe even allowing them to mainly work from home. If they are worried about being around other people right now, do not dismiss them. Instead, work with them to create a work situation that is comfortable for them. Engage them in virtual team building activities and make them feel welcome again!
As a manager, it is important that you are there to talk to your employees about how they are feeling and their daily workloads. If you are feeling unsure about how to tackle this head on, make sure to try employee wellbeing solutions from LifeWorks. When a worker goes back into the office, you will need to actively communicate in order to find out how they feel about returning. You can then adjust their situation accordingly. Make sure to ask them how they are finding their workload and whether or not you can do anything to help. That way if they need you to slow down on the amount of work you are throwing at them, you can do that.
4. Create a wellness plan
When your employees first come into the office, make sure to ask them about how they are feeling. Their emotional state is going to affect how well they work and how productive they are going to be in getting daily tasks completed. If you feel like your employees are struggling emotionally, sit them down and create a wellness plan. This can help them talk about their emotional health, their feelings about the pandemic and their worries and fears. You can then create a plan to move forward and take steps to help adjust them back into the working world.