The future of work and working in offices remains uncertain, with new regulations coming in regularly, sometimes even weekly. To keep your business resilient, you will need to be prepared to navigate further change after reopening your office.
Reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic is only the first step in these turbulent times. Keeping it open and operating is the crucial next stage for your business’s security.
We recently outlined how to keep working safely in the new normal. In this guide, we move on to explain what to do if there is a COVID-19 case in your workplace, how to get plans in place for unexpected periods working from home, and the importance of regularly assessing workplace safety regulations.
In this new normal, businesses need to know what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
How you respond will be shaped by government guidance, but you can have your own policy, too. At a minimum, this must meet your government’s legal obligations, but can also be used to implement additional precautions.
In this policy, you may want to include steps such as:
If an employee who has tested positive has recently been in the workplace, you may need to close part or all of the office.
Any exposed areas will need to be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned before reopening.
It is also advised that the employee stays at home for 14 days before returning to work, even if the office has fully reopened and they feel well.
You’ll need to find out who the employee has been in close contact with.
This could involve interviewing the employee, checking their recent meeting schedule, reviewing the seating plan and any hot desk bookings, and/or looking at the times the employee entered the office.
Once you know who the employee has been in close contact with, you need to inform these people of their exposure risk.
As an employer, it’s advised to ask them to stay home for 14 days and not come into the office - even if they do not show symptoms.
They will also need to follow self-isolation laws.
You may require those who test positive or come into contact with someone who has tested positive to receive medical clearance from their doctor, or proof of a negative test before returning to the workplace.
This is not just about limiting the spread of COVID-19, but is also to look after all employees’ general wellbeing.
Even if your staff are working from home, you should still check to see that they are well enough to be working.
We have already seen changes in government advice since offices first reopened.
The advice to work from home if you can has returned. This means that the only people who should still be working in your office are those who cannot work from home.
At the moment, nobody who can work at home should be in the office. But if and when restrictions relax and non-essential staff can return, it’s a good idea to implement measures such as:
Instructing employees to take their laptops to and from the office every day
Ensuring all staff have a suitable work-from-home set-up
Working with your IT department to make sure files and work platforms can be accessed from home
The future of work may involve periods of office reopenings followed by sudden closures. To reduce the impact of this, you want to make sure that your staff are ready for these changes.
To respond quickly, you need to be aware of what’s going on. Having up-to-date information at hand means you can make data-driven decisions and stay agile even in the toughest situations.
You can achieve this with Salesforce’s Work.com. This features custom apps, expert advice, and training designed specifically to meet today’s workplace challenges.
You can use Work.com to:
See all the information you need in one place with Work.com’s Workplace Command Centre.
Its unified view empowers you to make data-driven decisions about reopening your office, as well as keeping it open - or even closing again if necessary.
Work.com’s shift planner will help you manage office capacity and get a clear picture of who’s in the office on what day.
It can even automate shift assignments based on whether or not an employee is able, willing to, and needed to work in the office.
You can manually trace interactions and make sure you’re capturing the right information with guided assessments by using Work.com’s contact tracing solution.
With daily non-intrusive questions, you can continually monitor your workforce’s health and be able to identify an outbreak of sickness.
Employee wellness surveys can also be used to assess employee health to determine suitability for returning to work.
Work.com even enables you to train your employees on the latest changes in the workplace, helping everyone to be able to adapt to their new roles.
While the future of work may remain unknown, being agile will help protect your business - and your employees.
Salesforce’s Work.com has been built with both safety and resilience in mind.
Find out more about how Work.com can empower you to better respond to change.