The EU has published some guidance for employers who need to manage their employees post Covid, and assess the safety risks regarding opening up workplaces again. This is a subject worth thinking about now during lockdown, as the return to work is bound to happen at some point later in 2021, albeit in a patchy kind of way.
Some big name insurers have already said the day of the office is done; IE covered AXA’s decision to let employees choose whether to return to the office for example. Zurich announced last September that office attendance would be optional in future.
Of course there is more to a return to work than simply reading the EU or UK guidance. Siemens for example are already prepping their offices by installing lifts that don’t have button powered operation, plus creating tiouchless interactions in as many places as possible. The old banks or cubes of desks have been replaced with glass partitions, and obviously if a high percentage of staff are WFH then there is more space per person in the office.
Siemens has also developed its own app, called Comfy, which aims to manage employees visits to various offices and site locations.
Employees will be able to register their presence and obtain information about their local office. It will also enable daily occupancy limits to be defined and met, ensuring offices comply with local return-to-work regulations.
“Our priority is to protect our people so they can return to the workplace safely and confidently wherever they are. By using smart office technologies, we can reshape how we work,” said Roland Busch, deputy CEO and member of the managing board of Siemens.
Should you need it the EU-OSH (Occupational Health & Safety Office) guidance pdf is here. It is also in 25 different languages, which is useful if you need to print off copies for employees whose first language is not english.