As Illinois businesses prepare for Phase 3, a desire for establishing a new normal is stronger than before. However, employers can’t just pick up where they left off before the interruption of a worldwide pandemic. Employers can implement new regulations to establish a routine that will help instill a sense of normalcy and keep employees safe.
As health is the most major concern, employers can utilize different staffing practices. By allowing some employees to work from home, other employees can work in the office. Employees will be able to have more flexibility in their work schedule, increasing employee engagement. Employers can detail specific work from home policy for communication, responsibilities, and availability to further ensure that productivity is managed while managing occupancy limits.
Employers need to reevaluate how the actual workplace is run and how employees must conduct themselves in order to establish a new normal. To keep employees and customers safe, employers can update employee agreement templates to include health monitoring and contact tracing, proper safety equipment (PPE), sanitizing equipment, and enforcing non-negotiable social distancing measures. These regulations should follow Illinois regulations as well as the comfortability needs of employees. If employees still refuse to return to work or if being in the office is crucial, employers can suggest rotational schedules or employees can opt to come in 1-2 days per week instead. Employers can also refer to the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act for more advanced measures.
Employers and employees will have to communicate more effectively because of these changes in the workplace. With a great shift in privacy for managing health concerns, Illinois businesses can design new policies for diagnosing symptoms, requiring health checks, and encouraging personal hygiene. With employees not all in the same space, employers will have to adjust their leadership as well. Online chat channels and virtual happy hour events are great for team building and can improve employee morale. In smaller groups, teams can gather in-person to maintain a sense of social networking.
There are new changes in state laws and business practices. These changes are redefining how workplaces will be run. These redefinitions will influence what the new normal for Illinois businesses will be.
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