The quarantine put in place with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle for everyone. Working from home or facing temporary layoffs or closures, it's been a major adjustment for both employers and employees, to say the least. Once the quarantine has lifted, it will be another adjustment to go back to business as usual. As an employer, you want to make this transition as easy and welcoming as possible. Here are a few tips to smooth the path.
Participate in Outdoor Activities
There are many benefits of doing outdoor activities with your employees, particularly after a long period of having such activity restricted. Enjoy the beautiful spring and summer weather by taking group walks around the neighborhood on breaks or maybe having an impromptu meeting at a nearby park. Even taking lunch hours outside in the fresh air and sunshine is enough to lift anyone's spirits, so encourage your employees to dine al fresco in nice weather.
Go Out to Lunch
Speaking of dining, going out for a "welcome back" lunch is another way to get everyone reacquainted. You can go to a restaurant, or you can order food in and go outside for a picnic. If your business was one where layoffs had to be made, providing lunch will allow everyone to partake and enjoy without having to worry about paying for it. It doesn't have to be elaborate--a pizza party or sandwich delivery will please just about everybody.
Be Available to Listen
While having the quarantine lifted and being able to return to regular life will be a relief for many, keep in mind that some of your employees may have been directly impacted by COVID-19. They may have been sick themselves or had family and friends fall ill, or been financially affected by layoffs. If there was ever a time to keep an open-door policy, it's now. Let your employees know that you're always there to listen and to help if possible. Make sure resources are available to provide services your employees may need to get back on track.
A long-term quarantine is not something for which employers typically have a plan, and it was a learning experience for everyone. Taking special care to welcome your employees back will be a gesture they'll remember for a long time.
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