What a difference a couple of months makes! Towards the start of the year, we were all in lockdown and wondering about whether we were going to keep our businesses, and ourselves, afloat through the months ahead. Now, the UK government has rolled back its COVID-19 restrictions and we are starting to see offices reopen. There’s definitely a change in the air now that we can go out and see our friends and family members. It feels like the sun has come out, even if the UK weather has been dominated by endless rainstorms.
However, there are still plenty of challenges out there, and for anyone in HR there are some pressing issues that still need to be addressed. The effects of the pandemic will be with us for some time to come. Here are a few ways that you can address them.
The Mental Health Crisis Is Ongoing
Anyone who has worked in HR during the pandemic will know all about how much of an impact the pandemic has had on mental health. You didn’t need to read the endless news reports on the matter to know that employees were really struggling with the demands being put on them. As we worried about our health and the health of our elderly family members, worried about our job security, worried about our kids, we all reached the point of burn-out.
Now, as things have reopened, you need to remember that these issues won’t just go away. You need to continue to provide a support structure for your employees and continue to be approachable and helpful.
Working From Home Might Be Here To Stay
There are always going to be some things that are easier when you are working in an office. Any HR manager will tell you that there is a lot to be said for having an office where someone can just pop in for a chat if they are worried about something or if they have a quick question. When we started working remotely, some employees may have felt a greater disconnect between themselves and the structure that was set up to look after them.
Now, a lot of businesses will be heading back into the office over the months ahead, if not full time, then at least part time. But if your company is continuing to work from home, you should think about ways that you can improve communication and make it easier for your employees to see what they are working towards. Look for software that will cut out unnecessary steps for your employees and allow them to access their information more easily. There are platforms available that can help your business, such as employee benefit platforms via zestbenefits.com. These platforms are designed to automate administration and allow staff to view their perks and benefits at the touch of a button.
There Are Still Pandemic Wrinkles
As pleased as we all are that the government has rolled back those COVID-19 restrictions, it is important to remember that the virus has not disappeared. As we head into the second half of 2021, we should prepare for more wrinkles and speedbumps on the way. The recent pingdemic is an example of how we could suddenly find ourselves in a bind, as thousands of people had to self-isolate after being pinged by the NHS app.
Many stores and shops were forced to close temporarily. If your business is reopening or has reopened its workplace, then you need to make sure that there is a clear structure in place for employees to report if they have been notified that they need to self-isolate. There still needs to be a clear procedure for what happens if that employee has been in the office and may have infected others. While many of the potential issues may not be new, they still need to be accounted for.