Posted on: 11 September 2020
As lockdown restrictions are slowly easing across the UK many businesses have been allowed to reopen. But, with the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 and many workers successfully working from home, some employers are facing the decision of whether or not they should be bringing their team back to their business premises.
In a previous article, we showed you the pros and cons of keeping your team working from home where possible. This time, we’re helping you decide which of your employees will be better off continuing to work from home.
How do you decide?
Consider roles and responsibilities
Specific roles within a business may not allow your team to work from home long term. There will be roles within your business that rely on face-to-face contact that isn’t possible when working from home.
For example, customer support roles may have worked over the phone, however, many customers enjoy having someone that they can speak to directly if they have an issue. Face-to-face customer service often helps to build on the relationship with the customer, and also helps the customer to trust you as a business.
When taking a look at each role, evaluate each one to check if they are better suited to being on your office premises, and keep relevant documentation to support your decision.
Evaluate each case individually
In regards to health, COVID-19 can affect different people in different ways. Those with underlying health conditions that affect breathing are more likely to experience the symptoms of COVID-19 more adversely to those without those conditions.
Therefore, when you are deciding who can stay working from home, consider allowing those with underlying health conditions to stay working from home, even if working back on the business premises is better for the business. If the member of your team has been able to carry out their work, even at a reduced capacity, there is no need to potentially expose them to COVID-19, which could severely affect their health.
You should also take into consideration those who may or may not want to return to the office. If there has been a member of staff who has been able to work from home, but feels like they work better on the business premises, you could allow them to return.
Let your team leaders or managers decide
The people managers in your business will be best equipped to know your team’s needs when it comes to working from home or going back to the business premises.
You can leave it up to the people managers in the business to make the decision themselves on who they want to bring back into the business or listen to their advice on who they think needs to come back in, or who is better off at home.
Open and honest dialogues
Maintain clear and consistent communication with your team throughout the whole process to avoid conflicts when deciding who should come back in or not.
Be prepared to be flexible and make changes as new information is presented to you, allowing you to make changes that benefit your whole team.
Further COVID-19 guidance
Take a look at some of our other articles about COVID-19 that may help you make a decision on how to bring staff back into your business premises.
- COVID-19: Can employees refuse to return to work?
- Should your team continue to work from home?
- COVID-19 safety posters and signs for businesses
- How to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19
- COVID-19: Mental health and returning to work post-lockdown
- Commuting to work whilst COVID-19 is still a threat
- COVID-19: What if working two metres apart isn’t possible
Business insurance with Premierline
It’s important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built.
Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to make sure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business. If you are looking for further COVID-19 business insight, take a look at our Coronavirus Information Page.
Source: Zywave Inc. – Risk Insights: Deciding who should work from home during COVID-19
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