Remote working or flexible working is now here to stay. Research by S&P Global Market Intelligence found that 67% of organizations surveyed expect work from home policies “to remain in place either permanently or for the long-term.” If working policies have been future-proofed, health and safety policy for companies needs to be as well.
As the current pandemic has shown us, there is no telling what the future holds. We cannot predict what works, and the world will look like. That’s why work from home has become the norm. It allows companies to continue operating if something similar were to happen again.
Why then, is the health and safety policy for companies not getting the same scrutiny? These policies along with employee healthcare benefits do matter, because as we have previously said – healthy employees are the most productive employees. The challenge though is creating and enforcing policies when everyone is in a different situation.
Updating Health and Safety Policy for Companies
The new-age office is no longer a central location. Now, employees work from their bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and sometimes (if allowed) a café. No two employees will be in the same situation. So how do you craft a health and safety policy for companies?
First of all, you need to know that you are legally obligated to do so. In India, government labor laws mean you need to provide a health insurance plan and now annual health check-ups to your employees. However, that simply won’t suffice for the modern workplace.
With rising cases of mental health issues, and lifestyle diseases you need a robust and comprehensive health and safety policy for companies that goes beyond just insurance. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when doing so.
Rethink the Home Office Workspace
Even if we do return to the office, it won’t be the same. Social distancing norms will mean that there will still be a need for flexible and remote working arrangements. In that situation, there is a very urgent need to rethink the home-office.
A desk and chair just won’t cut it anymore. If you can, help fund purchases for ergonomic furniture. Also try to work with your employees on creating a distraction-free environment, in their home. There’s no one size fits all solution here, so find ways to make remote working work for you.
Humanize your workforce
It is important to remember that your workforce is only human, so you need to treat them as such. Empathy will go a long way. A 2018 State of Workplace Empathy report found that “96% of employees consider it important for employers to demonstrate empathy, and yet 92% believe this trait is undervalued in their workplaces.”
Understand their situation, and help craft a work schedule that works for them. You also need to ensure your employee healthcare benefits are in-tune with the risk exposure of each employee. Like with the home office, there’s no perfect one size fits all solution here.
Do Not Undervalue Employee Interaction
Productivity will only be high if employees are satisfied and engaged. Employee engagement helps to not only address critical issues but also to help employees feel like they are part of a team. If timings don’t overlap, it can be tough to find time for engagement but it is still something you need to do.
Make team bonding activities a regular part of your routine, and at a time that works for everyone. Also, encourage team leads to invest time in non-work-related catch-ups with their teams. Take an interest in their personal lives, it is a good way to cultivate a team spirit.
Help employees cope with change
Remote working isn’t easy for anyone. Isolation, extended working hours, company culture are just few of the challenges that remote workers face, as captured by Clockify. Coping with all those changes at once can be painfully difficult if not handled properly.
Research by Gartner Inc. suggests that organizations that use an open-source approach rather than a top-down approach to change which increases the probability of success by over 24%. Also, ensure that even small-scale changes are given enough attention and resources.
Upgrade Your Healthcare Plan
Employee healthcare plans like free gym memberships are only ‘plaster’ solutions. In today’s flexible work environment, robust approaches are needed that focus on emotional wellbeing, mental health, and work-life balance. So, the health and safety policy for companies needs to reflect that.
That’s why you need to upgrade your business health plans. You should have a plan that includes preventive care measures and access to virtual care measures like doctor teleconsultations, discounted medicine ordering and health check-ups.
With these changes, the health and safety policy for companies will be future-proofed the right way. That means, no matter how long this pandemic lasts, your employees are healthy and safe enough to continue doing their best.
If you don’t have an employee health benefits package that is holistic and economical, why not switch to TeamSure by Onsurity? TeamSure is a comprehensive digital-first healthcare plan that can be customized to your needs. That way, no matter how big or small your organization, you can put employee wellbeing first. In the process, you can also save up to 50% off on your healthcare costs.