Work from home has become the new normal. All sectors and industries have explored digitalization given the circumstances. While it was a struggle in the beginning employees and employers have seemed to adjust eventually.
The pandemic has affected the economy overall and the companies have suffered their share of this economic crisis. It has also been a very unfortunate time for people who faced layoffs. The job market in India has been extremely volatile over the duration of almost 2 years.
People have also spent this time developing skills and entrepreneurial opportunities, one way or the other the employee retention has been difficult for the companies.
The uncertainties the companies are facing and the uncertainties employees are facing are different in many aspects, but one common uncertainty for both parties has been the multiple opening and re-opening of offices.
For cities in India that have seen extremely high numbers of Covid (+)ve patients, the work model remains to be WFH, but in smaller cities like Indore, Raipur, Lucknow, Nasik, Surat, etc. offices plan on going back to the conventional way of working a lot quicker than big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc.
Either way, if your office is in a big city or a smaller city in India and you have heard rumours on work WhatsApp groups about office re-opening we hope your company takes care of a few things.
Here are some of them:
Allowing a buffer
The companies cannot expect to be sudden about changing things from WFH to Work from office. Companies should allow some buffer time considering a lot of the employees have moved back to their home towns and house hunting in these times can be a bigger challenge than one would assume. Barring the pragmatic challenges there is also an element of mental shift that the employee needs to develop. Allowing time for that shift is very important. A buffer of at least a month can be given to employees.
Understanding the sensitivity
There was one social media praise post for a company that had kept wristbands for its employees of 3 different colours. Green for people that accept physical contact and are not paranoid of the situation, Yellow for people that are Ok with people coming in contact as long as they have their masks on and hands washed, and Red for the ones that want to socially distance them from the other employees. A similar process can be implemented to make sure that the employees feel safe and everyone around understands the other employee’s comfort.
Following the protocols:
The sanitization of office and common areas like lift should be made sure while going back to the work from office module. A sanitization stand should be made accessible for all employees, commonly used areas should be cleaned multiple times a day. Making the employees wear masks is another very important thing. The roaster system in cities where there is a 50 or 30% staff allowance should be in place and adhered to.
Not making it mandatory for everyone
HR shouldn’t overlook an employees concern related to their elderly members in the family. If a certain employee can perform all their duties without coming to the office and it makes no difference if they come to the office or not, and they have a reasonable concern to back up their request, the HR should consider that and leave that option for the employee.
If you are an employee and your office begins soon or has already started we wish you great health and safety. For more tips and articles on all things career keep following Shrofile.
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