The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill in its initial few months. As economies struggled to remain afloat and governments scrambled to enforce safety measures, going to the workplace was the last thing on anyone’s mind. But now, as the world is opening up once again, workplaces are also adapting measures for employees to get back to work safely.
For business leaders, the main task that lies ahead is to guarantee the safety of workers without compromising on the productivity and efficacy of work. Furthermore, increasing digital literacy is a crucial component of getting safely back to work in the new normal. Read on to know the best practices in preparing your workforce for the ‘new normal’.
Exploring New Ways of Working In-Office
In the new normal, working conditions need to undergo a drastic change to make sure that workers can safely get back to work. This could entail dividing the workforce into shifts or teams and even rethinking the size of the workforce. Decision-makers should also install shift systems to regulate the number of people present in the office at once. Further, shifts should be scheduled such that there is a gap between them, allowing for proper sanitation of the workplace.
Increase Reliance on Technology
The move towards digitization of the workspace has been accelerated, thanks to the pandemic. Most companies are using collaboration tools and productivity management systems to cope with the reduced interaction at the face-to-face level. To better facilitate teamwork, communication and transparency, companies should embrace digitization.
Digital technology specific to the post-COVID era of working is already in the market. For instance, specially designed wearable devices have been launched that alert the user when they are within 6 feet from another user of the device. Such devices can make sure that the employees work without the added stress of maintaining social distance.
Train the Workforce
For any organization that aims to restart normal functioning, there needs to be a robust training structure in place. Getting safely back to work in the new normal can be made much easier if the employees are provided with training in the best practices to be followed. In addition to this, regular training and awareness sessions should be conducted before resuming in-office work. This will ensure that the sector and country-wise guidelines are being met and that people can safely get back to work.
Implement Changes in Workforce Design
The pandemic has certainly affected the economy and businesses worldwide. Therefore, it would be prudent to consider bringing about changes in the workforce structure, such as redistributing work and repurposing of employees to perform varied tasks. Further, changes in the total workforce strength can also be considered, keeping in mind the middle to long term goals of the company.
In order to get back to work safely, more holistic workforce planning needs to take place. Business leaders and decision makers need to adopt a people-first strategy, also giving due attention to the mental health of the employees.