Almost 60% of Americans have been working from home for over a year now. Some workers are anxious to get back to the office, while others would prefer to keep telecommuting. Now you as an employer need to decide whether to keep everyone remote, return to worksites, or somewhere in between. Whichever strategy you choose, you need to maintain a safe workplace for your employees.
Here’s a checklist of items to consider.
Many Americans are starting to get vaccinated and President Biden has said that all Americans wanting to get vaccinated will be able to by April 19. Employees, however, are sharply divided on vaccinations, and on how employers should handle them. While 70% of respondents to a recent poll said they want their employer to require vaccinations before returning to worksites, nearly 25% said they’d quit their job if such a requirement were put in place.
The best way for employers to navigate these strong feelings is to implement a clear vaccine policy. As an employer, you’ll need to decide which vaccine policy strategy is right for your business and your employees: 1) Mandate that all employees get vaccinated. 2) encourage employees to get vaccinated or 3) Take no position, and let your employees choose if they want to get vaccinated.
Return to work Protocols
If you decide to start bringing employees back to the office, you’ll be responsible for providing a safe work environment. Be sure to follow state and local guidelines for masks and social distancing, and consider taking extra steps for sanitation like hand sanitizer stations throughout the office. Many businesses screen employees with temperature checks, COVID tests, or questionnaires. This helps prevent someone coming to the office who’s sick or has been in contact with someone else who is sick.
Updating your employee handbook
Once you have your vaccination policy in place and your return to work protocols are running smoothly, you should update your employee handbook to formalize the changes you’ve made. If you have employees in multiple states, something that’s become more common with the rise in telecommuting, make sure your policies comply with state and local employment laws. These laws have changed frequently and significantly over the past year, and handbooks created even a few months ago are likely out of date.
There’s a lot to consider and it can feel overwhelming. Luckily, SixFifty has solutions to all of these problems. If you would like to learn more about how we can help, schedule a demo here.