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Things to think about when returning to work after Covid-19

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Over the last couple of months businesses across the UK have spent countless hours adjusting to lock down and what that means to their employees and business. Most have successfully adapted and are now settled into a new routine, but have you thought about what to do once things begin to return to normal and you need to get everyone back to work?

Below are some best practices and recommendations on what to do when thinking about transitioning back to work after Covid-19. It may be some time before the current guidelines are lifted but we want you to be as prepared as possible when the time comes.

USE A SKILLS MATRIX This may sound like a simple thing to do, but now is a great time to visualize all of your employees and make sure they have the available skills and competencies required for what you need to do going forward. Having this perspective on your business will mean you can take steps forward after Covid-19 knowing you have your best team behind you. If you know you have vulnerable employees returning to work, make sure they are accounted for and well looked after. If you have team members that show signs of working better in another department have a think about moving them across. This is not as daunting as it may sound, and we will focus on this more in our upcoming blogs.

COMMUNICATE WITH EVERYONE Make sure that everyone is on the same page BEFORE they return to work. Have a think about what you would like to communicate to the company so that everyone has clarity on what is to be expected when they return to work. This could include outlining new company or government guidelines, best practice for hygiene, reporting sickness in the first month back and self-isolation rules. This is your opportunity to get everyone singing to the same hymn sheet with the confidence of a prepared management team behind them.

HYGIENE Is your office space set up for the new hygiene and social distancing guidelines? We do not know what the new workplace guidelines will be but it’s a good idea to start thinking about the space you will be working in and how you can make it as safe as possible. If you haven’t already then make sure wherever possible that you have posters up instructing people on how to prevent and avoid spreading germs. Do you need to space desks out a little further? Is there a place for people to wash or anti-bac their hands when they first enter the building? Antibacterial wipes can be a great way to ensure that people’s desk, phones and keyboards remain as clean as possible and we would recommend swapping your kitchen and bathroom towels for paper towels to reduce cross-contamination.

GO DIGITAL It is fair to say that most people have adapted to working remotely and digitally over the last couple of months, but are there certain elements of this that you can continue to use going forward? As well as reducing the risk of spreading germs, going digital could really transform the way your business operates. Why don’t you become a paperless company? This will reduce cross-contamination but is also a great step towards helping the environment and reducing printing costs. Is there a group meeting where many people have to be in one room, that you can continue to do using Zoom or Skype instead? Trust your team to work flexibly and remotely if it feels like the right thing to do. Most people will probably be excited to return to work but do not forget some could benefit from a less rigid 9-5 day.

UPDATE PAPERWORK AND HANDBOOKS This is the perfect opportunity to make sure that you have all your contracts and company handbooks up to date. If you have not been able to take a look yet, then please read our last blog on Employment Law Changes that might help you get up to date with everything that you need to know and do to stay in line with new changes.

STAY IN TOUCH AND THINK ABOUT YOUR EVOLVING HR NEEDS Whitcombe HR are here to help with any advice or support that you may need during these unprecedented times. Have a think about whether you may need to start integrating more HR into your business and make sure you have a good read of all our previous blogs surrounding Furlough, Coronavirus and new employment law changes.

We would love to hear from you and can always be reached by calling 07534359255 or emailing

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to delve deeper into the above topics and would love to know if there is anything of particular interest so please do get in touch.

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