What the new UK Government guidelines mean for businesses that want to reopen their workplaces

The Government’s change in advice on returning to work comes just 3 weeks after the national push for  employees to return to the office.

These new guidelines, for many employers and employees alike, is tremendously disappointing.

Although some businesses have decided to work from home indefinitely, for the vast majority, this is simply not an option.

However, if it is safe for you to welcome your team back into the office, then here are the main points to consider:

Understanding the guidelines

The official ministerial statement is to ‘work from home if you can’, but most major employers have interpreted this as ‘guidance’ rather than instruction.

In a further statement from the Prime Minister, this was explained to mean only if you feel working from home does not detriment your economic, physical or mental wellbeing.

Interpreting the guidelines based on your particular workspace and taking a case-by-case approach for each employee is imperative here.

Making your workplace COVID-19 secure

Investing in simple measures is critical to ensuring your employees safety and making sure your workplace meets the regulatory guidelines.

Facility essentials such as risk assessments, hand sanitiser stations, social distancing procedures and signage are standard protocols. However, investing in digital health solutions, such as symptoms tracking apps, will give your workplace the edge in keeping COVID-19 at bay and your employees reassured.

Furthermore, offering your employees COVID-19 testing is likely to become a crucial tool to ensure your workplace remains safe.

Considering the mental and physical needs of your staff

Although some employees may have been enjoying the benefits of working from home, employers need to be mindful that this isn’t the case for everyone.

While the economic ramifications of lockdown are well understood, the somewhat invisible impacts, such as those on our physical and mental wellbeing, are given less airtime.

Employees struggling with stress, anxiety, physical ailments, or even lacking productivity from working at home and limited social contact, should be given the option to return to a secure workplace.

What’s next?

It’s becoming clear that businesses need to start thinking about the longevity of their plans to operate effectively throughout the ongoing pandemic.

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Reopening workplaces is essential for economic recovery, in addition to benefiting the wellbeing of many employees. Welcoming tools that enable organisations to recover costs quickly, whilst prioritising the safety of their teams is imperative.

See how Huma Health Shield can help you safely achieve your reopening plans.