Keeping your people safe at work extends beyond physical hazards; it’s your responsibility, where possible, to provide a healthy environment for psychological health too.

As organisations return to work following the disruption to normal routines, it’s important to assess the risks.

Here’s how you can provide a safe environment for your people and support them as they return to a post-pandemic work environment.

As always, manage risk

Just like physical hazards, mental health hazards exist in the workplace.

Poor change management, bullying and harassment and stress are factors that contribute, and with a remote workforce, many of whom have spent time in isolation during COVID-19 the mental health of your people should be top of mind.

Being aware of these hazards and having an action plan in place, identifying at risk employees and leading change is essential. There are great resources available to help.

Adapt and Change

Whilst we aren’t completely out of the woods with COVID-19 yet, it’s clear that the world is now a very different place to the one we knew just a few months ago. The same must be assumed for ways of working.

here’s a few things you can do to adjust your people to the new normal:

  • Adapt your work environment to ensure all social distancing and COVID-19 safety measures are being met.
  • Provide flexible working arrangements as a permanent option. It’s likely regular services like school and daycare may not be back to normal for some time. It’s also important to help your people feel supported as they navigate these added stressors. 
  • Make an effort to communicate all changes. There is a lot of uncertainty around unemployment and working conditions and it is possible your people are experiencing these feelings.

Provide support

Check in with your people for a short informal chat to understand how they are coping with the transition back to work. If you have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), ensure your people know that this option is available to them. If they are reluctant, there are plenty of free services that your people can access at any time. Share this list to solidify the message that it’s ok to access these.

Next Steps

For more information on keeping your people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic: