How to Bring Your Team Back to Work Safely During COVID-19

Jennifer Caudill
September 28, 2020
4 Minutes

Employees have been challenged to balance work and life like never before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, after months of isolating, leaders face a new challenge: How to bring their employees back to the workplace safely.

The goal of any employer-specific COVID program should be to balance employee experience with employer operational excellence so everyone has some peace of mind before returning to work. This requires empathy on an individual level and collaboration between decision-makers, human resources, employees, and a dedicated healthcare provider.

Focus on employee experience.

How do your employees feel about returning to a shared workplace and how can you address their concerns? Here’s what worked for Carbon Health:

Deploy a back-to-work survey to get a pulse for team members’ current comfort levels.

Identify teams that need to be physically in the workspace and prioritize their testing and daily check-ins.

Address any complexities working parents face upon their return to the office. What measures can you implement within your return-to-work plan that consider the safety of their families?

Share your return-to-business plan with employees to assuage fears and concerns about returning to work. COVID Ready curriculum was developed in-house by medical professionals at Carbon Health in accordance with CDC, WHO, and NHS guidelines and standards.

Offer support for mental health. Carbon Health has access to mental health providers via the convenience of virtual care.

Deploy training and education needed to minimize risk.

A proactive approach minimizes ongoing infection risks at your place of business. 

This includes:

Potential outbreak preparedness: COVID Ready allows you to customize action plans that are unique to your workforce, physical space, and setup.

Maintaining clean and safe workspaces: The COVID Ready program includes educational modules that lead employees through a series of best practices—from cleaning their cell phones to navigating public transit.

Reinforcing training protocols with checklists: From baseline testing to the daily symptom tracker, the COVID Ready toolbox offers a customizable dashboard and a range of solutions for all types of businesses For maximum effectiveness and safety, leverage testing, monitoring, education, and your unique action plan in tandem.

Mitigate risk through regular health screenings and daily symptom tracking.

Testing is an important tool, but it alone does not provide sufficient protection. On-going screening is key to avoiding new infections and identifying potentially infectious employees. The COVID Ready daily symptom tracker facilitates these screenings by prompting your employees with easy-to-use, consistent check-ins.

When using the daily symptom tracker, employees receive a notification from the Carbon Health app with the following questions to assess ongoing risk:

         What is your exposure?

        Do you have a fever? If so, what is your temperature?

         Do you have other symptoms?

Based on answers to these questions, Carbon Health may make a recommendation to seek additional medical care by scheduling a virtual care appointment. 

Foster a culture of individual and collective responsibility.

Prep your workplace for their return with language that instills the importance of shared responsibility through consistent individual actions. When we’re in a shared space working toward a common goal, we’re truly in this together.

Share with your employees (or co-create with them) a vision of what life looks and feels like at the office as the pandemic continues. 

Make sure your employees understand their wellness is your priority. COVID Ready provides healthcare—both virtual and in-clinic services—to keep your team feeling motivated as you rebuild together.

Bring your team confidently back to work. 

By working together to get ahead of COVID-19, we can prevent future outbreaks, nurture our country’s workforce, and keep businesses open. Our team is committed to helping employees feel comfortable and confident when it comes to their COVID concerns. 

Jennifer Caudill

Writer, reporter, explorer. Covering a range of issues — from healthcare to public lands. Loves: Dogs, running, rain. And days with all three combined.


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