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Occupational health practitioners will have a pivotal role to play in helping employers navigate any gradual return to physical working this summer. Alaana Woods outlines four practical ways in which OH will be able to make a difference.
The last year has meant that remote working has become the new norm for thousands of employees across the country. While this was important to stop the spread of Covid-19, it has also meant that many people have got used to their new working habits and aren’t ready to ditch the comfy clothes, get back to the early starts and return to the workplace.
Recent research found that 65% of employees were suffering with return-to-work anxiety and, with many organisations eager to encourage employees back into the workplace, it’s important that steps are put in place to curb anxiety and support employees to feel comfortable going back to the workplace.
As well as helping to reduce back-to-work anxiety, it’s also a really exciting time for employees to get back into the workplace, return to face-to-face interaction and collaboration and socialise with colleagues again.
1) Encourage flexibility
If your clients or organisation didn’t have flexible working policies in place before the start of the pandemic, it’s important that these are now considered for returning to the workplace.
Our research has found over a third of people want more flexibility in their working arrangements and it’s important that this is something businesses consider to make sure employees feel supported.
Flexible working policies can be as simple as allowing employees to manage their own time and travel in later or finish earlier to miss the rush hour commute.
A return to the workplace will be a real transition for many people. Without the daily commute, face-to-face meetings and spending more time at home, many are going t