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Top priorities for employers in a post-COVID-19 world
Support flexible working
In a post-COVID-19 world, it’s important for employers to continue to allow their staff to work from home, if possible. Many workers will probably choose to return to the office, but employees with weak immune systems and those living with at-risk people should have the option to work from the safety of their homes. Additionally, business owners should make sure their teleworkers have all the necessary tools and devices to do their jobs efficiently.
Protect employee health
Business owners should follow their national legislation and make sure their workplaces are safe for employees to return to. There are many precautions employers can take to protect their staff’s health, such as increasing the distance between desks, implementing social distancing rules at the office, installing sanitising stations, and increasing the level of cleaning of desks and high-contact surfaces. Employers should also take their staff’s concerns into consideration (e.g. via a company survey).
Make use of workers’ new skills
The coronavirus crisis brought out unsuspected skills in many employees, like flexibility and adaptability. Employers discovered ‘hidden talents’ in some of their staff members, like leadership and innovative thinking, which should not be overlooked. Business owners can consider putting these workers in charge of mentorship programmes, social committees or remote onboarding of new hires. Additionally, employees with innovative thinking could take part in brainstorming sessions for new business opportunities. And those with affinity for tech and digitisation could trial new technologies for protecting the business from future crises.
Encourage socialising amongst staff
One of the biggest disadvantages of working from home is the lack of social interaction with friends and colleagues. It’s important for employers to create more opportunities for socialising at the office, like encouraging more coffee breaks, having happy hours on Fridays, or organising company-wide events. This can help bring the team together after the long months of isolation.
Take mental health seriously
The social and economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has put a great strain on people’s mental wellbeing. It’s essential that employers put the mental health of their staff first in the coming months, as having happy employees is key. Business owners should make sure their companies have wellness action plans, so their workers feel supported.
Improve internal communication
It’s important that employers make sure there are clear communication channels to keep their staff informed about any changes in the company. There’s a lot of uncertainty lying ahead, and businesses should be ready to make quick decisions without leaving their workers wondering what’s happening. Clear and regular communication will keep employees happy and confident that their employer has things under control.
Read this article about how COVID-19 has changed the way we work.
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Articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. Their content does not necessarily reflect the view of the European Labour Authority (ELA) or the European Commission. Furthermore, EURES and ELA do not endorse third party websites mentioned above.