Get back to the workplace?

Your workplace needs you, according to some. They mean working from home is not good enough. Every employer needs to think about the risks and opportunities, as should every employee. I have written previously about the risks of returning to work, but the emphasis from the government seems to be changing.

How safe is your workplace?

We all need to take steps to ensure the health and safety of ourselves, our colleagues, clients and the public, depending on the nature of the work. ‘All’ means not just employers, because managing risk requires cooperation. Let’s avoid own-goals, which could lead to penalties, local lockdowns or simply loss of reputation. If you want to know how not to manage your reputational risk read my post about the Dominic Cummings fiasco.

For some, there’s no workplace like home!

For writers like me, and many other people, home has long been the workplace and many of us are quite happy with that arrangement. We like to be able to work when and how we choose, not to have to fit into some company standard. On the other hand, some people can’t be trusted to get on with their work unless there’s a supervisor breathing down their necks. One solution is for managers to assess output rather than inputs. If the employee gets the job done, who cares if he or she does it in one mad blitz or a series of fits and starts?

Graphs and magnifying glass. These can be used at home or in aworkplace

These can be used at home or in a workplace

Others long for their old workplace

If you’ve got noisy neighbours or small children, if there’s not much room in your home, you might think the office, or wherever, was paradise! You might have a building site nearby. There again, I have had to endure noisy ‘neighbours’ and contractors at work. And some colleagues could be as irritating as small children with their constant moans and demands. Some have a great capacity to waste time in meetings, and outside them. Zoom meetings tend to be more disciplined.

Does the workplace cost too much?

Many of us have learnt to make better use of technology and to develop new ways of working as a result of Lockdown. Are there not benefits worth keeping? If more people worked from home, you might need less office space, even with social distancing. Then there’s the cost to the nation of traffic jams, exhaust fumes and parking.

Am I for or against a return to the usual workplace?

As always in risk management, and all management, a one-size solution is not the answer. The government should allow employers and employees to find what’s best in their circumstances. There’s no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

If you want to know more about Risk Management generally, read my book Load The Dice or have a chat with me.

Load The Dice: A Simple Guide To Managing Risks In Small Businesses