Returning to the Workplace During COVID-19: How to Focus on Employee Safety and Wellbeing
June 22, 2020 / Employee Wellbeing Best Practices
Many of us are eager to return to the workplace, hopeful that it will give us a sense of normalcy and a taste of what life was like before COVID-19. But in our rush to return to the workplace, we can’t lose sight of the factors that will be most important in our journey. The greatest way to make sure that returning to the workplace is a smooth transition is to focus on employee wellbeing and safety procedures.
Right now, we’re all entering uncharted territory as we look for direction in a post-COVID-19 world. We can’t assume that the coronavirus has affected us all in the same way. Your experience—as well as your risk of infection—could be vastly different from that of your co-workers.
Employers have a crucial role to play in helping their employees monitor their health and risk, as well as to support the long list of wellbeing needs that must be addressed in the wake of COVID-19. As Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board member Dr. David Batman pointed out, the period of isolation that we have endured, in addition to the risk of infection for this new coronavirus, will have lasting effects.
For many, mental health will deteriorate with limited access to support systems and heightened stress and anxiety. And for some, there will be no way out for a long time, and even more challenging times approach.
Individual and organizational resilience – the ability to adapt to a new environment and thrive through changing situations – will directly depend on your employees’ safety, health and wellbeing.
Now, when employees are looking to their employers more than government leaders and journalists for accurate information on their health, safety and wellbeing during COVID-19, is the time to advocate for and provide tools to prioritize your workforce’s safety, stress management, how they’re staying active and socially connected, financial wellbeing, and work-life balance. As your organization starts to welcome employees back to the office or adjust to the new workplace guidelines, how are you going to support your people’s total wellbeing at work so that they can perform their best?
This June marks the 12th annual Employee Wellbeing Month, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Filled with tips, activities and free resources, the annual toolkit is a simple way to kickstart employee wellbeing at your organization. Then, learn more about Virgin Pulse’s Return–to–Workplace solutions to understand to see how you can help ensure compliance with re-opening guidelines, triage workplace readiness, protect high-risk populations, and help employees develop and maintain healthy routines every day.