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Top tips for returning to the workplace

16 September 2020

COUNTRIES AROUND the world are at different stages of their coronavirus response. Many are still in the grip of lockdown, but some are starting to look at how to re-emerge from it.  Ius Laboris, the world’s largest HR and employment law firm alliance has listed some general tips  to help manage the process of getting staff safely back to the workplace.

Health assessment

Check for COVID-19 symptoms before travelling to work (e.g. a high temperature of 37.5C or more or a continuous cough). If you have symptoms (however mild), you should not travel to work and you should self-isolate. If a member of your household or someone you have been in proximity with develops any of the COVID-19 symptoms, you should also not travel to work and should self-isolate. If you are unable to attend work, HR and your line manager should be contacted. If you are well enough to work and your job allows it, you should work from home.

Attending meetings

You should avoid arranging meetings in small rooms or with a large number of people. During meetings, please keep a distance from others and wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser before and after attending meetings. Avoid meetings with clients or customers, unless business critical and comply with social distancing rules (i.e. no physical greetings and the requisite distancing), if they do take place.

Office area management

Ensure that you wash your hands upon your arrival at work and after visiting any other places. Carry a hand sanitiser and use it throughout the day. Avoid touching your face (particularly your eyes, nose and mouth) as much as possible. Catch coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue and wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser afterwards.

Avoid the common areas of the office as much as possible. When using office equipment or the kitchen, wipe the surfaces with the anti-bacterial wipes. Wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser after touching common touch-points, shared equipment and before you touch food. Follow social distancing rules when in the office. Avoid face-to-face work and avoid sitting at a desk adjacent to a colleague (where possible). Try to minimise handling of physical documents and paperwork as much as possible.

Travelling to and from work

If you can, avoid public transport and car shares or taxis. Where possible, try to walk or 4 cycle for all or part of your journey. If you can’t avoid public transport, we will discuss your working hours with you and try to avoid you needing to travel during peak time. When on public transport, you should wear a face mask and protective gloves. You should try to keep social distance from other passengers, e.g. by avoiding sitting next to or standing close to other passengers. Carry a hand sanitiser and use it as often as needed (especially before touching your face). Wash your hands before and after your journey. 

Follow instructions 

Instructions may be given to help everyone reduce the amount of contact with others. This might involve instructing staff to use a particular entrance, stairwell or lift, to arrive and leave work at a particular time or to use hand sanitiser before entering the building. 

Note: these tips are not based on the rules of any particular country - and specific advice should be taken locally about those - but do cover some general themes. 

For more information, contact www.iuslaboris.com