As the British vaccination programme rolls out to cover everyone over the age of eighteen, workplaces and offices are beginning to reopen, albeit slowly and cautiously.
With much remaining uncertainty and the ominous shadow of the Delta variant, employers are looking at ways to safeguard a smooth return to work – often in staggered intervals.
Here are some tips to help protect the welfare of your staff and ensure everybody is confident in their return to work.
Supporting Access to Vaccinations
One of the best ways for employers to look after their workforce is to encourage teams to book and attend vaccination appointments.
Many pharmacies and clinics offer slots outside general working hours, and some are now offering an unscheduled ‘walk-in’ service that does not require an appointment for the first jab.
However, that depends on the area. If an employee needs to take some time off to receive their vaccine, the business should support this.
Companies can also share the NHS Booking information as a gentle reminder that staff can book online or call the appointment line. Adults who have received one dose can book their second immunization within eight to twelve weeks of their first appointment.
Promoting Healthy Habits at Work
Employees often spend a significant proportion of their time at work, so it’s vital to provide access to nutrition that will keep their physical well-being in check.
Options such as having free water coolers or advocating for the many benefits of office fruit are simple and effective.
Office fruit delivery services like Fruitful Office are a convenient way for businesses to have fresh office fruit on hand, helping busy staff make healthier, immune system-boosting choices.
Promoting holistic welfare in the workplace is an excellent way to demonstrate that you care about the health of your team and will take proactive steps to ensure their time at work is adequately supported.
Making Mental Health a Workplace Priority
Next, line managers and employers must recognize the emotional and psychological burden of the pandemic and potential anxieties about returning to work.
Options to support staff in their mental welfare include:
- Establishing open communications, so workers can share any concerns or propose suggestions for things they feel would streamline the transition.
- Offer continued flexible working, with a combination of hours in the office and at home.
- Support with childcare arrangements – remember schools are still working in bubbles, with around 250,000 children currently in isolation, so it’s essential to be mindful of the need for adaptations where colleagues have childcare concerns.
All staff should be encouraged to ask for support when needed, whatever that may look like. A free ‘Returning to Work’ Toolkit is available to download from Mind here, the mental health charity.