It seems like every time a return to work becomes likely, the fight against the pandemic suffers a setback. Late last year, the onset of Omicron delayed many plans to bring employees back together. Once that passes, will it finally be safe?
Uncertainty about the course of the pandemic has caused widespread anxiety. One survey found that more than four out of 10 workers (42%) worried about getting COVID as they returned to company facilities. Even if you’re not particularly scared of the virus, you need to keep family, friends, and coworkers in mind as you look to resume your daily commute.
That brings up a crucial question: how can you protect yourself in an age of pandemic uncertainty? To answer this, here are a few tips that will help you stay safe as you look to return to work:
One of the worst components of the pandemic has been its shifting parameters. How many times has the emergency seemed over just to have a new variant or a spike in cases cause a new panic?
As a result, information has become crucial to understanding the present circumstances. Unfortunately, commentary on the virus varies greatly in quality. You need to find trusted sources and stay in touch with your employer about the current situation. Which brings us to the next point …
Engage in Open Communication
You can’t guarantee your safety at work by yourself. Beating COVID is a team effort. As such, you’ll need to communicate with your supervisors and your coworkers to ensure a healthy environment.
Ask your manager questions about your company’s safety procedures. Make sure that you understand the system in place. At the same time, provide appropriate feedback so the company can fine-tune its efforts to make everyone feel secure against the virus.
Follow Your Company’s Safety Protocols
As you get set for a return to work, your company has likely worked out a series of procedures to ensure COVID safety. This might include day-to-day protocols (like when/where to wear masks) as well as rules on staying home (whether you’ve been exposed, etc.). For everyone’s safety, follow the policies your employer creates.
An important note here: you might not agree with every company rule. Even so, it’s important to remain in compliance. Doing so likely increases your safety. But even beyond that, there’s no need to stir trouble.
Look for Remote Options
If you’re worried about a return to work, you might be able to delay in-office appearances until the situation clarifies. Remote work options remain popular at many employers. Talk to your supervisor about the possibilities.
Of course, these off-site alternatives aren’t available for all professions or for all companies. This creates a tough choice for many workers. However, by following the other guidelines on this list, you can still plot a safe path in an unsettled pandemic situation.
Don’t Get Discouraged
The pandemic will end eventually. You’ll settle into a work routine that you can count on from day to day. Perhaps in the wake of COVID, things will change forever — more focus on the spread of illness, more safety precautions, more remote options. But, ultimately, the new normal will reach a level of predictability that will allow you to get your work done without thinking too much about a particular virus.
In the meantime, it’s important to watch your mental health. Worrying about COVID adds anxiety to an already stressful work situation. Talk to your loved ones about your worries and guard against falling too far down a pandemic rabbit hole.
Looking for a safe employer during an uncertain time? A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can help. You’ll find the perfect company to ensure your long-term health while giving a boost to your career.
Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.