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Returning to work after a long absence can be stressful and scary, but as an employer, there are several ways you can support your staff and encourage them to return safely. There will always be a certain level of trepidation before returning to work, so we take a look at ways you can help your employees feel safe and confident in returning to their workplace.

Understand anxiety

With the current uncertain situation, many employees might have taken time off for health reasons, family reasons or perhaps all of your workforce has been asked to stay at home. In fact, a recent study found that two in five employees were nervous about returning to work after the lockdown. In London, that figure rose to 52% of employees experiencing anxiety about returning to work. It’s important that employers understand and empathise with their staff who may have been through a traumatic experience. To make this transition easier, you can help your employees by providing information and understanding, signpost them to wellbeing resources or helpful articles and show you care.

Open communication

It’s important that there are open communication channels between staff and management, and that your returning staff know how to raise any issues. If you honestly communicate, you can work together to find a solution that works. Be honest about your expectations and take your staff’s concerns seriously. Send them an email after their first week to make sure everything is going smoothly and make sure they feel they can talk to you about any health and safety concerns too.

Safety solutions

It is also important that you have put in place the right health and safety precautions. Another way you can make your staff feel safe and secure is by using a personal safety app like Zecure. It can allow staff members to raise an alert, video evidence and call the emergency services if there are any safety concerns. You can even start a free trial of Zecure to see how much it can help with your company’s risk mitigation and employee protection. Showing your employees you have thought about their safety and prioritised their wellbeing is a great way to make the transition back to work smoother and safer.