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  • Writer's pictureMarie Richter

It's Time To Revisit Your Corona Office Guidelines

Updated: Feb 18

Corona infections are on the rise again despite all efforts to ensure the opposite. And so Germany enters the ‘light’ lockdown of the second Corona wave and social contact rules are being tightened in our personal spaces once again.

Whilst no new guidelines and restrictions are given on how businesses are supposed to adjust their internal Corona guidelines, this is a good time to review them and potentially tighten them anyway. What might have seemed appropriate and in accordance with the governmental guidelines just a few days ago most likely now won’t be the case any longer. Some companies even voluntarily started to move their workforce back to 100% home office in the past few weeks already. The main reasons for that usually were individual cases of infected employees and an increasing number of employees having had first degree contact with someone else who was infected but having caught it themselves.

On top of the standard rules of

  • Keeping 1.5m distance

  • Wearing a mask when moving around the office

  • Coughing and sneezing into your elbow

  • Washing hands frequently

  • Airing out rooms every 20 minutes

  • Using the Corona warn app

. . . many companies have found the following additions to the office guidelines useful over the past six months

  • Staying home in case of any corona symptoms

  • Rotation of people working in the office

  • Tracking presence of people in the office

  • Reducing the number of visitors to a minimum

  • Limiting the number of people in a meeting room

  • Taking coffee and lunch breaks outside of the office

  • Disinfecting shared workstations on a daily basis

Consider adding them back onto the list of your office Corona guidelines and even going beyond that. Whatever it takes to keep your employees safe and teams functioning.

On top of physical safety, you need to look after the mental wellbeing of your employees.

Stress levels will be running higher than usual causing people to break at their weakest points. For some this might be spouts of depression, for others anxiety, trouble sleeping and in some cases even more severe mental illnesses. The damage will be just as high to the company as to the individual if precautions are not taken and employees do not find the support they need. There are a few initiatives that companies are doing to lighten the load for your employees.

  • Daily team check-ins

  • Flexible work hours and redistributing of workloads especially for those with children

  • Zoom Lunches, drinks, workout sessions, book clubs

  • Care packages sent to their home

  • Resources for mental support

Making sure employees feel listened to, recognised and supported is primarily the responsibility of the employer who carries the duty to care for their staff not during their work hours but also outside of them. If we expect our team members to bring their whole selves to the workplace we should be willing to take some responsibility for the totality of who they are as human beings outside of it as well. Luckily, this is also something that everyone at a company can contribute to, whether its executives, managers, HR and above all colleagues. It can start with as little as taking the time to ask people how they are doing at the beginning of meetings and offering support where it might be needed. Not only is it going to help the individual feel heard and supported but also strengthen bonds across the company that will help you see it through these dark times and be its super power when things will finally turn brighter again.

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