Returning to work in a post-covid worldPosted: 20 Aug 2020
UPDATE TO UK RESIDENTS
As of Monday the 28th of September 2020 in the UK the government has since changed their stance on returning to work and now it is required of you to work from home if possible to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Rule Of Six is also in place, which limits you from meeting more than 6 people. Additionally, if you are not self-isolating when told to do so you can face up to a £10,000 fine.
Six months on, restrictions are being lifted and many non-essential shops and services are back up and running. The idea of ‘getting back out there’ is easier for some than it is for others, and can be a big source of anxiety.
Returning to work, whatever you do, is a topic that is being handled in many different ways across businesses. This lack of consistency can make it even harder to know how to approach returning to work and what is best for you.
We conducted a Twitter poll, to see how you felt about returning to work:
As the poll suggests, people are anxious. Our way of life has completely changed since lockdown began and some of the most vulnerable among us may have been isolated for 4 months or more, with little to no contact with people face to face. The ongoing adjustments to lockdown have been tough for many and getting back to a normal routine is proving to be just as difficult.
The government has written new guidelines on what you can do when it comes to workplace concerns. Below is one of the frequently asked questions about returning to work:
“What should I do if my employer is asking me to come to work, but I’m scared to do so given the pandemic?
Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely and must ensure workplaces are safe if they are asking you to return…
If you remain concerned that your employer is not taking all practical steps to promote social distancing then you can report this to your local authority or the Health and Safety Executive who can take a range of actions, including where appropriate requiring your employer, to take additional steps.”
You can find more information on the Gov website HERE.
It is currently up to employers how they manage their return to work procedures. If you are unsure whether your workplace is taking the necessary precautions, these are the guidelines all businesses must follow:
- Let you travel to work at quieter times of the day
- Reduce how much face-to-face contact you have with the public
- Make sure that staff stay at least 2 metres apart in your workplace
If you’re seeking more reassurance, you can read the Citizens Advice article on returning to work HERE.
If you’re finding your anxiety is still fairly high, we provided some relaxation and coping strategies throughout lockdown that you can try in your own time. You can find them HERE.