As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, one guideline that is likely to last beyond this year is social distancing. Employers have a responsibility to keep employees healthy and safe, and that duty is shaping their return-to-work strategies.
As organizations take steps to prioritize health and safety, many of these measures, including social distancing, staggering shifts and employees working remotely—can reduce social interactions among employees.
As employers deliberate on new policies or procedures in response to the pandemic, it’s important to consider how those efforts might affect company culture and vice versa.
What Employers Can Do
Regardless of whether employees are present at a work facility or working from home, here are some ways to enhance workplace culture and connectivity amid social distancing:
- Embrace flexibility and ensure employees know their health and safety are among the organization’s top priorities.
- Facilitate collaboration by investing in resources such as video conferencing technology, project management tools and socially distant or virtual collaborative workspaces.
- Encourage video calls for teams or departments to regularly check in with each other.
- Schedule virtual social gatherings for employees, and keep these events informal to preserve an organization’s sense of fun.