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Returning to work: Essential HR considerations in a post-pandemic workplace

As businesses around the UK prepare to open their doors and move into a new phase of working practices, we’ve drawn together some essential HR issues to consider as you lead your teams into a post-pandemic workplace.

Crisis response

Few businesses will have had a contingency plan in place for the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown. Now is the time to respond to crises which have emerged within your business, whether they’re on your budget sheet or in your staffroom.

One key element of re-introducing staff to the workplace will be through risk assessments, and ensuring compliance with all the latest health and safety instructions.

Make sure you also have the proper processes in place to handle any queries or disputes which could arise from re-boarding staff.

Reinforce your commitment to wellbeing

Now more than ever, workplaces have a part to play in addressing the mental and emotional wellbeing of employees. Consider what tweaks could be made now to ensure that your HR policies are supporting positive wellbeing among your teams.

This may have particular relevance for your flexible working, office hours or working-from-home policies.

Virtualise customer and client services

As part of your risk-reduction strategies, consider which customer and client services can be ‘virtualised’ or undertaken off-site. 

Zoom and virtual meetings are now the bread and butter of many teams, but consider where else you can add value to customers without the need for physical interaction.

Foster trust within teams

Workplaces and teams have been forced to adapt to new ways of working in lockdown, and many businesses will be dealing with the ongoing effect of having ‘hybrid’ teams — some working remotely and some on-site. 

Make sure you implement the necessary procedures to build trust among team members, and to ensure your internal communications are designed to do the same.

Consider policies for vulnerable workers

In the ‘new normal’ of the post-pandemic workplace, companies will have to consider how its working patterns and policies are affecting individual team members. Specific HR and safety policies may need to be put in place to safeguard the health of vulnerable staff, for example.

Now is the time to go over your existing HR policies to see whether they’ve taken into account workers with underlying health conditions, or those who are shielding family members.

Download our free Return to work guide for more practical tips on easing your staff back into the workplace post pandemic. 

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