First, we had the ‘Great Resignation’ where millions of Americans simply downed tools and quit their jobs last year. Estimates have put that number as high as four million, with some saying even higher. But now, we have (well, we almost have) the ‘Great Return’.
At least, we were supposed to before Omicron made its most unwelcome appearance. However, now that we know that this variant is perhaps not going to be the ‘Spanish Flue, 2.0’, many businesses have started recalling their workers back to work at their main offices. Certainly, corporate America has made huge efforts to do so.
Now, if you’re a smaller or medium-sized business you might think that these big ideas don’t apply to you, but you’d be wrong. To attract workers back to centralized offices and workspaces, you need to show your teams that you take their safety seriously – and be seen to be doing so, and that means getting up to speed with your return to service protocols.
BEFORE YOUR DOORS REOPEN
You have to make sure that all of your Covid-19 protocols are up to speed and that your office is compliant with any state or local regulations that may be required, the Centers for Disease Control has released these guidelines which will help. There are multiple conversations happening around the ‘to mask, or not to mask’ question, and we think you should take the advice of local health authorities on the appropriate protocols for your business and work environment.
Remember that if you’ve been away for a while, there may be a few compliance and regulatory audits that you need to complete that could be past due or upcoming. Your workplace health & safety checklists are critical not just for the legal eagles, but also so that you can be made aware of any new issues or changes to your current profile.
Office cleaning and more specifically, deep cleaning is a top priority and this includes calling in the pest control professionals to conduct a workplace audit, advise on your current situation, sort out any problems, fumigate if necessary, and implement new control measures, where appropriate.
For those businesses that may have been closed or working on sectional shifts and time zones, returning to work is also going to be a great opportunity to get your teams to reconnect, share ideas, and get those creative juices flowing again. Zoom has been a Godsend, but it isn’t quite the same. For this, you’ll need to revisit your training schedule and plan for the period ahead – at least your first quarter, remember to keep training light-hearted and good-spirited, you want your workers to come back the next day.
It remains important to keep a sharp focus on Covid-19 regulations and so take these seriously. For every one of us that is sick of hearing about Covid-19, there are 100 more who are even sicker of hearing of it – but it’s not going away for the foreseeable future, and you don’t want those sick days piling on before you’ve even had the chance to hit the ground running.
Good luck, and happy new year.