One step closer! Are you ready?
As we move through the Government’s roadmap, employers will be considering and planning for how they intend their teams to operate. This could mean that some employees will continue to work from home in the long-term as employers have realised the benefits of creating a more agile workforce. Others will be planning for their team’s gradual return to the workplace.
Whilst reading this, it is important to highlight that the timescales surrounding the roadmap may vary subject to the numbers of COVID cases reducing.
What is vitally important is ensuring that support is being provided to employees for both their physical and mental health. For instance, there may be some employees who are finding the thought of returning to work difficult or struggling with the idea of interacting in face to face meetings with clients, and therefore, it is key that employers put in place provisions to support them.
The Government advises that wherever possible it is important to work from home (expected to last until June 2021 at the latest) and offers employers the option to support:
employees in working from home until lock down restrictions or social distancing is relaxed
a return to the workplace in line with COVID-safe workplace guidance when working from home is not possible.
It’s important that employers consider individual circumstances, eg, working parents, to enable employees to work from home as much as possible and in so doing consider the physical, emotional and mental well being of their team whilst adhering to current government guidance.
By implementing a flexible approach, it could help employers to develop more effective practices which could create a more highly motivated workforce and could dramatically improve productivity.
Employers may be required to review existing or produce new policies on flexible working, such as:
Implementing policies that enable your employees to request flexible working.
State in job advertising that jobs can be done flexibly, attracting more candidates who are looking for flexible roles.
Raise employee awareness of different forms of flexible working, such as, job sharing, and explore how can they be effective in roles that have traditionally been seen as non-flexible.
Develop mutual trust between management team and employees in alternative working arrangements. Support these arrangements with appropriate people management systems and processes.
It is key that before employees return to work that employers conduct risk assessment. More detailed guidance on this can be obtained from the Health & Executive https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/index.htm
We hope that you have found this information useful. Please make sure that your HR processes and systems support the reopening of your offices. Flexible working and family friendly policies are available on our brilliant Cloud based HR software HR Pulse.