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BY Cloey Mangali Culture
Almost overnight, everyone was pushed to adapt to the circumstances brought about by COVID-19. Most people spend most of their lives at work — interacting with colleagues, working with suppliers, and serving customers face-to-face. Having to stay productive while living through this generation’s worst pandemic is both challenging and frightening.
This pandemic has shown how many businesses here in the Philippines lack the flexibility to take their work online. It has served as a wake-up call for business leaders and entrepreneurs to take a hard look at their operations and figure out how to digitize these activities.
This begs the question, “What should our business as usual look like once we get out back there?”
Changes to the workplace as a result of the pandemic would undoubtedly stay. One vital realization of the changes currently happening is that there is no going back to normality as we used to know it. Social distancing might still be the status quo as long as the virus is present in asymptomatic individuals, with vaccination still distant. Wearing masks may still be required once people step outside their homes.
As a business leader, you must review your entire business model to see what changes are needed to ensure that your company is ready for what’s next especially after where the pandemic has put us all through. What we all need is for our business as usual to be better and safer for everybody.
As the country emerges in stages from its coronavirus-induced lockdown, many people who have been working from their dining room tables and home offices are now being called back to their places of employment.
Now that businesses are allowed to resume, employers must make it a priority to secure their employees’ welfare and business productivity. They should talk to their workers about the next steps and only bring them back to their place of work if it is safe to do so.
A major consideration every organization should evaluate before issuing a return-to-work order are the practices they have adopted to promote a safe physical environment for workers. Employers should develop procedures for building maintenance and care as well as maintaining physical distancing and strictly observing health and safety protocols mandated by the government.
Although many employers have to carry on the essential work operations in their facilities despite shelter-in-place restrictions, these businesses and others will have employees returning to physical environments that need to be adequately prepared for infection control and physical distancing practices.
Once employees have passed entrance screening, there are still potential risks inside of a workplace that can be at least partially mitigated through the observance of safety prevention protocols.
Prioritizing the physical safety of workers as they return to the workplace is key to protecting their health and well-being considering they are the most valuable assets of the company. Employers should develop procedures for monitoring and promoting the medical health of the workforce, ensuring appropriate physical distancing, and encouraging overall good hygiene as well as observance of infection control practices.
For employees to return to a workplace, many organizations may institute screening procedures to clear employees, customers, and/or visitors for entry into a building or site.
In the near term, temperature screening and self-assessments are the best options for assessing risk based on some of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. Although these screening methods are not foolproof measures to detect COVID-19, having a one step forward is better than not having anything at all.
COVID-19 has not gone away, but there are signs in a number of markets that we are starting to win the battle against the virus and that life can start to return to normal. But that does mean that it wouldn’t be like what it was before?
As you prepare your workforce to transition back to the workplace, you need to proactively identify potential problems and solutions. Cross-functional partnership at the leadership level will help ensure the workforce is physically and psychologically prepared to return.
A major consideration beyond the protocols to address the physical, medical, emotional and mental issues of reopening the workplace is the cumulative level of change that employees have experienced over weeks and months.
Workers will undoubtedly have many questions and/or anxieties about transitioning back to a physical work environment, in terms of both their safety and health as well as disruption to what has become the “new normal” of sheltering in place and/or working from home.
It’s essential to recognize that workforces will need time to adapt to new ways of working post-pandemic. Employees coming back after a series of quarantines or periods of remote work may find the physical layout of their workplace changed and their shift schedule altered.
For office workers, returning to a workplace may require a mindset shift for those who’ve adjusted to working remotely. In order to navigate these changes, management should make sure employees understand what’s being asked of them and what steps the company is taking to protect their health.
As our employees report back to the office, we are exposing our workplace to health risks. We are at risk of getting infected every time we touch something, and our workplace is not an exception. From our usual biometric devices used for log-ins and door access, to pens and logbooks. This has caused a lot of employees to be hesitant in physically reporting back for work. Simple lapses in sanitation of surfaces can cause a dangerous viral breakout.
Manually logging in and scanning the temperature of employees causes long queues and is more prone to human error. This may become a hassle for everyone and affect productivity in your workplace.
We need to be flexible and innovative to sustain our businesses during this pandemic. As some of our employees start to report back to our offices, we are exposing our most valuable assets to the risk of contracting the virus.
To significantly reduce physical contact in your office without sacrificing convenience and efficiency, Salarium brings you FacePass: A Touchless Time & Attendance Solution powered by S.A.F.E. Tech: Secured Attendance & Face-Enabled Technology.
FacePass protects your workplace by detecting possibly infected employees, even before they enter. This service brings you more than just facial recognition and timekeeping. It empowers you with having accurate records of clock-ins and outs of your employees within seconds with its superior facial recognition capability, while requiring them to wear facemasks and complying with the temperature threshold of 37.5 mandated by the DOH before they enter your office—all in a touchless process.
We are committed to providing you with an answer. Welcome your employees to a better and safer office with FacePass. To know more about our product and its service, you may visit https://www.salarium.com/facepass/.