4 Ways to Create A Safe Workplace Culture

The pandemic has deeply impacted everyone in different ways. The way we live and work has completely changed. We have had to face concerns over the safety of ourselves and our families and navigate the impacts of the pandemic on our jobs and finances. With all of this considered, employees’ physical and mental wellbeing will be a priority when they return to the office. According to a survey by Gartner, there is a 21% increase in the number of high performers in companies that support their employees in every way. From the layout of the office to ensure physical distancing to adequate support to ensure the wellbeing of each employee, many things should be front and centre as business leaders and HR managers begin to create a safe workplace culture, so let’s dive in. 

1. Take a risk assessment 

Every workplace environment has hazards that have the potential to cause injuries or illnesses. These hazards can stem from wet floors, furniture that isn’t ergonomic, absence of PPE, exposure to hazardous substances and more. Completing a risk assessment of your workplace before re-opening it to your employees can drastically reduce the likelihood of work-related accidents. 

If your employees work in a remote or hybrid setting, we suggest you give remote workstation assessments a try. Aside from this being a legal requirement, it helps identify and prevent postural problems and musculoskeletal disorders. We have a trained physiotherapist who carries out the assessment and makes necessary recommendations to help the employee work better. We have ergonomic solutions such as a Risk assessment package (for the whole company – remote or not), one-on-one assessments and company webinars to help you do your part towards creating a safe workplace culture.

Get in touch with us here to learn more about our ergonomic services. 

2. Reimagine your workspace

Regardless of what your business has decided in setting up your post-COVID office, you may have to redesign or reconfigure your workplace to keep your employees safe. Start by reviewing your floor plans to understand how your layout may need to be re-arranged to maintain a distance of 2 metres. You can also add enclosures to your layout with transparent panels to protect employees while still allowing them to see each other. Another aspect to bear in mind while redesigning your workplace is to limit objects on the workstation. Investing in personal laptops, stationery (preferably sustainable!) and hygiene kits will limit desk objects and help make cleaning more efficient.

Using appropriate signage like floor markings, handwashing, and one-way system signage can remind employees of good hygiene practices and make your workspace safer. 

Need help in redesigning your space? Our Furniture and Interior Specialists will guide you every step of the way. Learn more here.

3. Up your cleaning protocols

Stepping up your cleaning and hygiene protocols is an essential part of having a safe workplace culture. As part of the COVID-19 protocol, businesses will have to increase how often and thoroughly their workplaces are cleaned. 

Firstly, identify frequently touched surfaces like door work surfaces, door handles, vehicle surfaces and kitchen equipment. Make sure to deep clean these surfaces periodically. Secondly, provide handwashing facilities at entry and exit points. Make sure that handwashing liquid and paper towels are fully stocked at all times. You can also place sanitiser stations in bathrooms for added safety. Lastly, handling waste well by placing waste bins in high traffic areas like bathrooms, kitchen, entry and exit points is crucial. 

4. Keep employees informed

Prepare your team for the new way of working with regular communication. Recognise that your team members are learning how to navigate the effects of the pandemic and might still be experiencing uncertainty or anxiety. Giving your team members time frames regarding the return to work will make the transition easier for everyone. Let them know when the ‘return to office’ process is due to kick off. This will alleviate their mental load attached to uncertainty and help them be better prepared physically and mentally.

Make wellbeing a priority by asking your team members what they feel about work and transitioning back to the office. Consider carrying out employee pulse surveys for honest feedback. This will allow you to respond quickly to help them feel safe and happy at work. 

As the workforce starts making its return back to the office, as an employer, you may have wondered what you can do to make the office more inviting. Here are some tips.