After months of remote work, many businesses are returning to a sense of normalcy with the reopening of their physical workspaces. The COVID-19 pandemic continues, but with safety guidelines and planning, companies are moving to get their teams back in the office. The employees, however, are less excited about going to work.
One survey found that approximately 66% of people were anxious about the return to their workplaces. Given what’s going on in the world, these anxieties and concerns are understandable. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can help alleviate your team’s anxieties about returning to work in a COVID world.
Start with the plan
This isn’t about the making of the plan, which should be done before you announce reopening, but sharing it with your team at the start. One of the easiest ways to add to their anxiety is if you tell them they have to come back, but you don’t share what you’re doing to keep them safe. Keep them updated every step of the way, so they feel informed and understand all of the important safety steps you’re taking.
Recognize their stressors
Your employees are going to return and feel stress about several issues, not just getting sick or spreading the virus to a loved one. In some cases, they may be worried about the overall health of the organization or perhaps how their sales will be affected. Take time to listen and name everything that is adding to their anxiety and address it as comprehensively as you can. It’s always important to listen to your team, but now more than ever, it is crucial.
Find ways to connect your team
Being in the same workplace doesn’t mean people will feel as connected as before due to social distancing and masks. This can lead to a more isolating experience for them, causing additional stressors. As their employer, you can implement ways to help them feel connected, such as distanced walks on break, happy hours over video calls so people can chat socially from their desks, and services like Slack or Microsoft Teams that keep everyone connected and chatting screen to screen. In your initial planning, you want to think about the social health of your office.
Provide resources to help them cope
Whether you’re sharing deliberate techniques to help them feel calmer or articles about the benefits of routine, make sure you are providing resources. Even if you provide information they could find for themselves, the point is you are taking the step to give it to them. This action shows you recognize they could be experiencing anxiety, and your goal is to help.
Customized solutions designed to help you succeed
Now more than ever, you may need help with a flexible workforce or adapting to variable demands in business. Whatever your staffing needs, Gem Care can help you. We want to know your biggest challenge and what we can do it address it. Request an employee to get started today!