Return-to-Work Health & Wellness Toolkit for Employers
July 28, 2021
First Stop Health
COVID-19 has changed the typical American office, leaving employers (and workers) with a lot of questions. If you are re-opening your office, be sure to implement a well-documented and overcommunicated plan to keep employees safe, happy and healthy. While there is no “one-size-fits-all" answer, here are some steps you can take to make the best health and wellness decisions for your team when returning to the workplace.
Consider which employees should remain remote (if any): This decision should be an unbiased one made based on team/job function and not on personal characteristics.
Try implementing a hybrid or ‘hotel’ model: By having certain teams in the office on different days, you can reduce the number of employees in person at one time. Allowing some flexibility with work-from-home days can help ease the transition for employees and maintain a healthy work-life balance for the team.
Update your office’s health protocols: Create a plan for enhanced office hygiene and improved deep cleaning protocols. Always provide hand sanitizer, social distancing markers in busy areas and free masks. Double-check the effectiveness of office ventilation systems. You can also re-configure your office with social distancing in mind and add partitions, if necessary.
Encourage workers to use sick time when they are feeling ill or experiencing health care issues: Now is a great time to remind employees about your sick time policy and what steps you expect them to take when they are feeling unwell. Share the CDC Guidelines with employees so they know what symptoms to be vigilant of. If employees are quarantining, make sure they have the tools they need to be successful remotely.
Limit travel: For some industries this may be more difficult, but wherever possible your staff should limit travel for business (unless necessary).
Enhance your benefits with telemedicine and virtual mental health to help keep employees healthy and productive: Help employees avoid germy waiting rooms where they could potentially contract airborne illnesses, such as COVID-19, cold, flu and more. Encourage your employees to use telemedicine to feel better, faster without wasting time or money. For holistic health, adding virtual mental health is also key. Many people face anxiety returning to the office and mental health has taken a toll due to COVID-19.
Consider other helpful benefitsto make the transition easier: Some organizations are offering childcare or pet walking stipends to ease employees’ transition back to the office. Get creative and see what your workforce needs to feel good and be successful on the job.
Every organization’s return-to-work plan willlook different, but every workplace must keep employee health and well-being at the forefront. Looking for more information about telemedicine? Checkout our case study where we helped an employer keep their team out of emergency rooms and got them back to work.