Fortunately, there is no news of a Coronavirus variant as we head into a new year. However, preventing Covid-19 in the workplace is no less critical than at the start of the pandemic. In fact, we can all benefit from sanitation vigilance to protect each other. And as an employer, you must take measures to protect your employees, so they stay productive through economic issues.
Health and Safety Responsibilities
Employers, owners, and managers have a responsibility to protect the welfare of their employees. There are already health and safety regulations, like the UK's Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. But when your employees are sick or at risk, you can't expect them to work well or even show up for work. However, you can take these steps to keep them healthy:
Social distancing is still relevant at the office and in public spaces. In most countries, masks are no longer required by law. But they still work great for reducing infection. Also, places like shopping malls and cinemas encourage mask-wearing for staying safe among the masses. However, as an employer, you can't force employees or clients to wear masks. And people who don't want to wear them don't have to. Therefore, you can offset any refusals and maximise the hygiene of your company with regular sanitation and social distancing of 2 meters.
Re-Organised Office Space
At the height of the lockdown, employees weren't allowed to work. People are back at work now that vaccination rates are high, and everything is normal. But safety is still a top priority, so organising your office might be necessary. For example, apps for hybrid offices allow desk reservation, so you don't have to work in cramped quarters. And schedule management apps like ToDoist and Trello are becoming popular among employers. Additionally, limiting people per desk and moving furniture will reduce contact.
Private companies cannot force employees into vaccination as it goes against human rights and personal beliefs. However, employees working for health care companies might be required to have had two doses of a vaccine before entering the premises. But as of February 2022, NHS workers aren't needed to vaccinate to continue working. And while you cannot force vaccination, there is nothing wrong with encouragement. Statistics show that the spread of infection is greatly reduced among the vaccinated, and booster shots increase efficacy.
Offer Remote Work
Remote work is nothing new, yet many employees have had little or no opportunity to work from relative safety. In addition, it is all but impossible for some roles. For instance, jobs that require meeting with others, machinery, dealing with the public or making deliveries. However, it is highly beneficial to offer remote work where you can. And recent data shows that productivity increases when employees don't need to come to work. It is believed people work better when they can work to their own schedule rather than a 9 to 5.
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