Returning to the office: What do you need in order to protect your employees?
Updated: Jul 7
Europe slowly starts to recover from the pandemic and relieve the confinement restrictions. Therefore, most of the companies allow their employees back to the office, or at least a defined amount of them. Unless they have considered the advantages to keep the possibility of remote work for the future, they needed to prepare the offices to keep the employees safe, avoid any infection, and to follow the regulations of the government.
So what kind of guidelines should you apply and what do you need to purchase for your office?
Provide masks and sanitizers
By now, everyone should have some surgical masks or washable ones and probably loads of sanitizers, although if you expect from your employees to wear a mask in the office and disinfect their hand regularly we should provide them with the proper equipment. It is a similar situation to the normal business as usual; if you expect your employee to be productive and perform well, then you need to provide them with the necessary environment and tools. You do not need to give every each person a mask or a bottle of sanitizer, but you can create spots in the office where everyone can reach them and keep some masks in the office in case someone needs it or forgot it home.
Put signs and information notices in the office
If you need to implement different measures like how many people can be in the kitchen or lunchroom, or even in the toilet, you need to place different signs and papers with information on the walls and doors. For example, you can have something on the doors to show if the premise is occupied or to know how many people are inside, so you do not risk overcrowded places. You can also place stickers on the floor to show how much distance people need to take from each other and you can hang reminders everywhere for the employees to be careful, wear masks and wash their hands regularly. This can occur some small costs which could be easily overlooked, but if you order these signs and stickers online, you can just upload everything to Haslle and all these expenses will be added together in one category and you can simply reimburse them in the tax season.
Seating plan in the open office
If your company uses open offices it is even more difficult to protect employees against the possible infection and to keep the distance. If you have space that is big enough for that, you can keep the 2 meters with a reorganized seating plan. If it is not possible for you, you can also invest in some separators or instant walls which helps to avoid any direct contacts.
Depends who is responsible for the sanitation in the office, you need to organize a different type of deep cleaning. You can organize it with the property manager if he is the one who is in charge of that, but also you could pay an extra cost in order to regular disinfection because the usual process might not be enough. Furthermore, you also need to organize the cleaning of the air condition, and to make sure it cannot cause a higher risk of getting the coronavirus by circulating the air in a not proper way.
Appreciate the work of your employees
It is always essential that your employees feel appreciated in your company, but if they perform well and help the company out even with these extreme circumstances like a pandemic that it is something you might like to reward. For example, if some of your team members still went to the office and risk their health, just to ensure that your company runs further smoothly, then for sure it would be a nice gesture to say thank you in a certain way. Or if you wish to acknowledge the hard work of the IT department to set up everything for remote work and make sure that everyone can continue to work from their home, then you could surprise them with a small gift or even a bigger recognition award. It does not have to be money or a bonus salary, but it can be a nice present or a gift card. Furthermore, if you use an expense management tool, like Haslle, you can issue them a virtual or pre-loaded credit card and provide them with funds for expenses they might use in the future.
These measures may occur lots of expenses to your business but if you keep track of them and organize them well, you can easily reimburse a lot of costs in the tax season. In order to be able to concentrate on providing the best for your team and not worry about the expenses, you can save a lot of time and money with an expense management tool. With Haslle you can easily arrange all the costs by creating expense categories and define budget by departments or teams. You can be aware of all of your movements and requests in real-time and even handle them on-the-go with the application, so you can simply run reports for tax reimbursements.
If you implement Haslle, the saved time can be expended to plan and introduce measurements, and buy the proper objects.
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