Returning to Work After Covid-19

I have two sons.  They are not little, and I haven’t had to cope with the home-schooling that some of my colleagues and friends have had to deal with but there have been challenges.

My 21- year- old son, who was loving uni life, is back at home and doing his best to continue his studies online.  The problem is he is doing a practical course – music production and performance.  It has been difficult for him to adapt to performing without an audience and instant feedback.

My younger son is 16 and was in his first year of sixth form.  Online learning was not for him.  Although he was telling me he was completing his work on his phone, the emails I received from his school told me otherwise.  Lockdown has made him evaluate what he really wants, and he decided that it’s not sixth form; he has started to work part-time and enrolled on a training course to be a barber.

Lockdown has impacted everyone and has been particularly hard on those people home-schooling whilst also trying to work from home. In the past year, we have all experienced a monumental shift in our everyday lives and how we manage the multiple responsibilities and busy schedules of both family life and work life.

The disruption caused by the pandemic has been monumental and as we begin to return to the norm, we should recognise that whilst we had to be quick to adapt, we need to be thoughtful about how we start to return.

Thankfully, Step One of the roadmap’s back to a more “normal” life starts on Monday 8th March and so begins the period of lockdown easing.  In this first step, all students in schools and colleges will return to face-to-face learning and university students who are on practical courses can also return. For many households, this will bring a collective sigh of relief!

There is also a change to the rules on social contact. We will be allowed to spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on our own, with one other person, or with our household or support bubble. This means we can sit down for a drink or picnic.

It is a gradual progress but there is a light at the end of the tunnel now and we can start to look forward.

The CIPD has published a guide with some useful HR advice for employers on returning to the workplace after Covid:19. It includes advice on flexible working and suggests that it ‘will be vital for employers to have a re-orientation and re-induction process for returning staff’.  This should take into account changed circumstances and ensure that an individualised approach is taken, allowing for how the pandemic has affected family responsibilities, mental and physical health and financial security.

If you need guidance on crafting your team’s return to work, PSHR can help you create your own roadmap out of lockdown with tailored HR advice including a return to work strategy and risk assessments, to ensure that employees can work safely and feel comfortable, confident and protected.

Speak to one of our expert HR advisors today on 01473 653000 or visit www.pshumanresources.co.uk

For more details on Step One of the government roadmap, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary#step-1—8-and-29-march

Blog by Paula Phelan, Director PSHR

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