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Empowering employees with best practices

The way we work has changed immeasurably. There is no way of predicting when things will return to "normal” if they ever will at all. Ever since the unwelcome arrival of Covid-19 to UK shores earlier this year, companies and organisations have had to rethink many aspects of their operations.

As the movement of people became severely limited in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus, businesses had little choice but to advise employees to work from home. What first seemed like a major inconvenience has opened some organisations' eyes up to a way they can save money with reduced need for office space.

Employees working from home makes more than just financial sense, it is beneficial for society at large as it reduces the flow of people. However, many employees have recently been returning to their workplace and many others will return in the near future.

Offices have been transformed - Companies have gone to great lengths to ensure that the work environment is safe. Office layouts have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing, hand sanitiser and sneeze screens have been installed in various positions and the days of hot desking are over.

There are a variety of other measures companies have taken to make their premises worker-friendly in these uncertain times. However, such measures will only be effective if workers play their part.

Of course, the onus falls on employers to provide a safe environment that minimises the risk of coronavirus being spread. But unless workers acknowledge all of the precautions that have been put in place and hold themselves to the highest standards, it won't be successful.

Workers must play their part - Employees must be left in no doubt about the responsibilities they face before returning to the office. This can be communicated via email or phone call but, where possible, it is more effective to do so in a more personal manner, via video call on a platform such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

Empower staff with the knowledge they need. Push home the importance of regular handwashing, sneeze-and-cough etiquette and, above all else, a strict respect for colleagues' personal space by way of social distancing.

So much responsibility is being placed on employers to get every aspect of return-to-office protocols correct that the responsibility of workers is being somewhat forgotten. This can't be allowed to happen. Every one of us has a vital role to play.

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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