How to Keep Staff Safe When Returning to the Office

With restrictions lifting and businesses starting to welcome staff back (perhaps on a part-time basis), safety is obviously vital as you will want to protect your staff and other stakeholders as well as public health as a whole. So, what can businesses be doing to keep staff safe when returning to work?

Creating a Safe Work Environment

First, you should address the office space and ensure that this is COVID secure. There is a lot of helpful information online for doing this, but essentially it will involve making sure that desks allow for social distancing, installing hand sanitising units, keeping windows open and providing face masks. You should also make sure that your air-con system is working properly to keep the office well ventilated.


Companies should also be offering lateral flow tests to staff so that they can test themselves before coming into work – this will ensure that everyone coming into work is healthy and will also provide peace of mind to staff and other stakeholders. This is especially useful to do if people use public transport, such as staff getting to work by train and should allow people to commute safely.

Risk Assessment

Before welcoming staff back into the office, you should also carry out a risk assessment to determine what problems could arise, such as a certain area or time of the day where social distancing could be an issue. You can then find solutions to either remove this risk or mitigate it.

Rotate Office Staff

It is not easy to bring everyone back into the office while maintaining social distancing and this could make many people feel unsafe. This is why it is intelligent to rotate staff coming into the office so that you have half coming in one day while the other half works remotely and then to switch this around. This is an effective way to maintain social distancing, but of course, you will need to be smart when it comes to scheduling.


Finally, you need to make sure that communication is strong between management and staff during this uncertain time. Many people have reservations about coming back into the office, so you should make sure that people are communicating and understand what they need to do if they start to feel unwell at any moment.

This is a challenging time for business owners that are bringing staff back into the office and you will want to do all that you can to protect health while getting the business back up and running again. These are a few of the key areas to focus on and will hopefully help you to create a safe work environment and help staff to feel confident in returning to the office.