Boris Johnson dropped hints this week that suggest that work from home advice may be scrapped, and office workers will be able to return to the office as normal.
For some, working from home has been proven to be more productive, cost effective (with fuel not getting used) and also less stressful, with stress related work Google search terms dramatically decreasing throughout lockdown, according to research.
However, some office workers are ecstatic at the hints they may regain the social aspect of the office, and be able to separate their working environment from their home environment. But how can employers ensure that this will be safe?
Jade Thomas, Office Manager at Pure Commercial Finance, has said that she’s considering bringing in teams back one by one rather than all at once. This seems to be a popular tactic suggested across firms in the UK, with many companies saying they’re not expecting to have a full office back until 2021.
Another thing to think about as an employer would be the employee commute. A survey suggested that there will be only a 2% drop of people that will switch to another mode of transport other than the bus, which isn’t that big of a drop all things considered.
Ron Moody, CEO of Connect Assist says:
“There’s the issue of people being not able to get to the office safely – public transport is a big factor for some people. How do the implications of public transport and needing social contact go against the fear of public transport during this time?”
To reiterate this, Scott Jones, Managing Director of Illustrate Digital said that the pandemic will mean less people travelling to and from meetings as we’ve all adapted to video calls pretty well. This isn’t only good news for employees, it’s great for the planet too.
To help gauge employees’ feelings on public transport and the return to work, and find out what’s best for them, Connect Assist sent around a survey to all their members of staff. It’s important that employers find out how employees feel, rather than rush them into anything that they don’t want to do or isn’t deemed safe.
Social distancing is still expected to remain put where possible, and when in a shared office space it’s important to remind employees of this as much as possible. Employers and HR managers need to make sure they have the correct social distancing signage to encourage staff to keep at a safe distance from each other at all times.