We’ve recently learned that 3 in 5 Job Centre workers don’t feel safe regarding coronavirus and returning to face-to-face work. We know that lots of you in PA and office support jobs in London are gearing up to return to the office over the next few months. We chatted with some of you about how safe you feel and what your employers are doing to help you feel safer.
Flexibility is key
“Having seen how effective working from home is, my company is being quite flexible and pragmatic about returning to our central London office,” says Micah. “We’ll still be able to work up to three days a week from home indefinitely, which means there’ll be fewer of us in the office at any one time.”
Izzy agrees, “We’re going back on a week in, week out basis. I feel quite safe with this. To be honest, I’m not worried about being in the office as I know they’ve put really good practices in place for social distancing. I’m more worried about the public transport I have to take to get to work!”
Beyond the job itself
Concerns about travelling on public transport are an important point that many employers are taking seriously.
Beth says, “I too feel okay about being back in the office, but I’m worried about mixing with so many people on the commute. My employer has created a Bicycle Scheme, which allows us to get a bike and cycle to work, which is ideal for me.”
Jadine explains how her employer is considering more than just the logistics of the workplace, “My employer has been fantastic and realised that mental health issues have become more prevalent during the pandemic. They’ve introduced various support schemes, such as lunchtime yoga and mindfulness, to support the return to the office, realising that we’ll feel safer if we feel mentally well.”
“I’m not ready to go back,” says Matt, who works in finance. “I live with a vulnerable family member, and I’m yet to get my vaccine. However, my employer is being inflexible, and we’ve all got to be back in the office in June. It’s really stressful. Combined with other things over the last year, it’s made me start looking for another job.”
CJ also had concerns, but her employer dealt with things differently. “I’ve become quite anxious over the last year,” she explains. “The thought of a busy office and the increased risk of exposure have been playing on my mind a lot. I spoke to my employer, and they’ve been brilliant. We’ve been allowed to contribute ideas for how to feel safer in the workplace, which really helps. I feel heard and listened to. Lots of new procedures are being introduced following feedback from employees, and it shows that our company are taking our concerns seriously.”
It’s vital that you feel safe
It’s exciting that a return to the office is on the near horizon. However, it’s also important that you feel safe and understand the steps your employer is taking to mitigate the risks.
If you feel that your employer isn’t taking your safety seriously, it can be immensely demoralising. If you’ve become disengaged as a result, it may be time to find an employer who does things differently. Find out more about being a Love Success candidate.
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