Returning to work safely during the pandemic
The restrictions applied all over India to fight the coronavirus pandemic will slowly start to decrease, which means the stalled economic activity will start resuming, slowly but surely. HR leaders must manage risks correctly to guarantee a safe return to the workplace.
COVID-19 in India
The COVID-19 situation in India is as follows: 100,000+ people in the country have been infected and the death toll is 3000+. Some areas, however, are deemed free of the virus, and it’s mostly in these “green zones” that the economy is planned to resume. Still, some precautions will be in place and it’s the employer’s responsibility to follow them to the letter.
You can click here 👉 to see the official guidelines from the MHA.
The threat of COVID-19 returning in full force is still not to be taken lightly. For this reason, HR departments and businesses, in general, have a very important task at hand: making sure their employees see a safe return to work. Those with kids under 5 years old and those aged 65 years old or more will still be working from home, and the rest should find a safe work environment free of the coronavirus threat.
Show Your Employees You Care
HR leaders have the opportunity to define their corporate culture in this time of uncertainty. This requires understanding your employees’ current mindset. Many people fear that they will no longer have a job. People are worried about risking the health of their families in order to put food on the table. They are scared in the face of so much uncertainty.
If there was ever a time to show your employees you have a deep appreciation for them, this is it. Take this opportunity to show them you care by providing the safest workplace possible. The best companies will step up to this challenge, making the workplace physically and psychologically safe.
Follow the Rules
These are some of the rules pulled from the official guidelines. You should review these, alongside the other details in the MHA document.
- Employees should keep a distance of at least 6 feet from one another.
- Meetings of 10 people or more won’t take place.
- Lunch breaks must be staggered so big gatherings are avoided.
- Employees will work in shifts, with an hour gap between them.
- No more than 2 or 4 people should use the lift and the use of staircases is encouraged.
- Non-essential visitors are not allowed.
- Vehicles must be arranged for staff that depend on public transportation, which must work with up to 40% passenger capacity, no more.
- Face masks must be provided to all.
- Adequate hand sanitizers must be available.
- Thermal screening is mandatory.
- There must be a list of COVID-19 hospitals nearby at work at all times.
These are the rules that will make it possible for employees to have greater peace of mind and therefore be confident about coming back to work during a pandemic. The way you apply them to your workplace is key!
Provide More Benefits
Aside from making the workplace a safe and clean space, you should provide more benefits to your employees. Healthcare benefits are a must, not just because it will keep employees protected, but also because it will ease their minds. A minority of your employees (hopefully zero) will be infected by COVID-19, but everyone will fear the psychological discomfort. You want employees to feel confident about coming back and healthcare benefits will accomplish that. Employees won’t only feel safe, they’ll be happier and be more productive as a result.
It’s not only about resuming economic activity; a business is nothing without employees willing to work hard for themselves and for the company. They won’t do that if they can’t trust you with their health and security, so now is the best time to show them the true colors of your company culture.
If you would like to provide your employees with instant access to primary care and a dedicated medical advisor by phone, check out: Loop Health