How to approach working life in the future.
As we all work through the Government phased road map in the return to work, combined with the Health and Safety Authority now having the ability to shut down non-compliant work places, companies must consider how they can adapt to working in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
When approaching the easing of lockdown restrictions, Sean Murray, Snap Ireland CEO suggests a structured approach, establishing a plan for your business to operate successfully in these changing times.
The introduction of the Governments Restart Grant will be well received by Small Businesses Sean suggests. The grant can be used to defray ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety.
Changes to consider include: nominating a Covid-19 Employee Representative (as stated in Governments Safety Protocol), staggered working hours, temperature checks, a ban on handshakes, contact tracing logs, social distancing measures, office modifications which make hygiene top priority, directional signage, communicating with a remote work force, sanitising stations and the use of PPE if required. In time, with advances in technology, who knows we could see contactless offices.
Sean comments, “It can feel like there is a lot to do. Businesses will have to adapt to the new environment and with this in mind, Snap have simplified with a number of key focus areas”.
Five Key focus areas
Adhering to HSA Guidelines on staffing capacity and behaviour by reducing shared working spaces and introducing Perspex Panels (sneeze/cough guards) in key areas. Snap provide a bespoke Perspex partition offering which is a low-cost, high-impact approach, giving greater comfort. It is also recommended to develop and update Social Distancing policies and procedures, with workplace booklets ensuring all team members are fully informed and reassured with a user-friendly template.
Keep it personal:
As sharing will not be permitted, consider the importance of providing personalised pens, stationery, water-bottles and mugs. Some businesses may need PPE such as face masks that can carry a company brand or key message. Additionally, smaller branded sanitising bottles would be well received by a staff member.
Implement directional signage that suits your business. As safety signage is not a one solution fits all, quite often companies require a bespoke solution for their particular needs or building. From Posters, Banners, Floor and Wall Graphics, Window Decals, all of which can be developed with a complimentary virtual site visit by Snap.
Installing sanitising stations at key points within your premises that meet health regulations are highly recommended. Of equal importance is the quality and legality of the Sanitising liquid used, and we discuss this in more detail later.
Working from home:
This new way of working can present challenges for employees and businesses. Keeping remote based employees engaged and part of the team is critical for business success. The use of video conferencing is now widely used by organisations to communicate with their team and customers. Snap can help complement working from home with a bespoke virtual backdrop for video conferencing, combined with a branded webcam cover for extra security when not in use. Recognition and appreciation for the work your remote employees do is a great way to show you care about them, but so many companies fall short in this area. Consider a personalised care pack, with branded collateral such as a bag, notebooks and pens, sanitising liquid, facemasks or individualised gift can take little effort, however have a dramatic impact.
We all need to work in order to support our personal commitments in life and indeed sustain business. This will require a return to the workplace for most people. However, before going back we need to provide confidence in the form of a safe and healthy environment.
Whatever happens in the time ahead, it is likely that the experience of living through the coronavirus crisis will leave a long-lasting impression on how our workplaces function and indeed our behaviour towards health and hygiene.
Snap, is a network of 16 centres across Ireland offering essential marketing services to businesses of all sizes.
Find out more about our Safety at Work Essentials (link expired).