After many months of unique challenges related to the global pandemic, employers are navigating how best to return to a new normal in their office environments. Whether you already have employees working in-person and are trying to solidify your policies moving forward or you’re trying to get everything in order before reopening your office after remaining remote for the better part of two years, you need the right approach and solutions to achieve your goal.
Let’s look at three key considerations to keep in mind as you move forward with returning to the office.
1. Safety for Your Employees When Returning to the Office
With competing concerns and a long list of practical considerations, it can be easy to lose sight of what truly matters most: safety.
Ultimately, safety should be a top priority for all employers, as it is for many employees. In fact, surveys of U.S. office workers have found that many have been reluctant to return to the office. Though other factors have likely contributed to this attitude, there’s no doubt that safety concerns play a major role.
These safety concerns can negatively impact employees’ mental health, as well. A McKinsey survey found that safety concerns surrounding COVID-19 are a driving reason why some employees report negative mental health impacts as they return to working in-person. Specifically, employees are worried about their own safety as well as the possibility of inadvertently passing on the virus to unvaccinated or at-risk people.
Of course, employers are also concerned about these unfortunate possibilities, which is why many employers are instating (or reinstating) vital safety measures, such as:
- Social/physical distancing
- Rigorous cleaning procedures
- Generous sick leave policies
- COVID-19 testing
- COVID-19 vaccinations
The appropriate policies to keep your employees safe may differ depending on your working environment and industry. The key is to know what’s best for your company so you can provide a safe place to work for your employees, protecting both their physical and mental health.
2. Consistency in Your Return-to-Office Policies
Coming up with helpful policies to keep employees safe is a great start, but your efforts shouldn’t stop there. You need to enforce these policies consistently across your organization. Otherwise, employees with safety concerns will have no assurance that their coworkers are doing their part to keep everyone safe.
For example, if you choose to put a vaccine protocol in place to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus in your workplace, you need a way to ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated, barring any special exceptions. Simply telling employees they must be fully vaccinated is not sufficient—you need a systematic way of collecting proof of vaccination to track employees’ compliance with this requirement.
With a vaccine management program in place, you can also keep employees’ proof of vaccination on file, essentially creating a digital vaccination card, allowing you to document your program’s efforts and put in place frameworks for dealing with unvaccinated individuals. Plus, a vaccine tracking program puts your company ahead of the curve on complying with any future requirements set by the federal or state government or professional associations.
3. Efficiency While Applying Vaccine Management Processes
Of course upholding safety and consistently enforcing policies are both important, but you don’t want to overburden your HR staff when they are undoubtedly already busy with plenty of other concerns, such as hiring and onboarding new employees. How can they make time to manually collect and manage thousands of vaccination cards, for example? For many companies, this manual approach is just not feasible.
The key is to find efficient methods of upholding safety and consistency. Thankfully, those ways do exist, thanks to dedicated HR software developers responding to a timely need. Using Neocase’s Case Management Solution for a vaccine management process, your employees can use their phones or computers to upload a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card, and the system will automatically process the image to record the information it contains, with little or no HR intervention required!
This way of collecting employees’ proof of vaccination improves document accuracy (read: employee safety) and saves your HR team a tremendous amount of time and headache so they can focus on turning challenges into opportunities for your business during this time.
Empower Your Organization with the New COVID-19 Vaccine Management Solution from Neocase
Safety, consistency, and efficiency are all key concerns that should influence your approach to returning to the office. With the right digital solutions, you can balance all of these concerns to:
- Demonstrate a real commitment to health and safety.
- Consistently apply protocols across your organization.
- Manage the practical tasks involved with efficient automation.
Neocase is empowering HR departments like yours by automating a crucial aspect of many companies’ return-to-work policies: vaccine management. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine management solution from Neocase and how it can improve your company’s return to the office.