We had a brainstorm last week about what are the best steps – not just for us – but for businesses as a whole – to take when planning a strategic return to work during the relatively uncertain times of lock-down easing.
We came up with a nice acronym : REPS which we believe offers a simple template for any business getting back to work. We know that we will be one of many and almost no four letter word can sum up an entire complex process but we thought that we would share it anyway and, one hopes it will lead to further discussion.
When returning to the office it is a prime consideration to reassure staff that they are not putting themselves at risk. Proactive safety measures should be applied to the workplace. These include the basic supplies such as masks, eye protection and hand sanitiser, but also refer to additional measures such as fever screening, creative desk spacing, protective screens between desks and sensible and controlled flow of personnel.
It is important that not only are physical protections ensured, but the mental health of employees is kept under consideration. For many people there has been a psychological upheaval as a result of the Corona Virus. It has brought into question many parts of life which we take for granted such as the freedom to travel, the ability to visit friends and relatives and even to enjoy leisure activities such as a trip to the cinema or pub.
In addition to safety measures to safeguard in the workplace it is necessary to protect third parties also. Anyone who visits your workplace as a delivery driver, colleague or customer must be made aware of the systems and practices in place and be given every chance to avoid the possibility of infection or transmission. We do encourage the provisioning of disposable items such as antiviral gels and face masks.
The primary desired outcome of all these measures is to stop the spread of the virus. All of us have a duty to bring the R value down as low as we can in order to bring the pandemic under control. We will get there in time, but that interval will be greatly reduced by the application of both personal and corporate responsibility.