Supporting a safe return to work

Published by Arun Thiyagarajan
Medical Director, Bupa UK Health Clinics

08 June 2020 . United Kingdom

The past few months have been a difficult time for everyone and as we move into the next stage of the coronavirus response, we know that there will be new challenges that we’ll need to face.

Man working on computer in office

In particular, for employers, social distancing measures, put in place by the Government, have introduced new ways of working. Whether this is working full-time at home, splitting time between the office and home or putting policies and procedures in place to protect both employees and customers.

No-one is sure what the ‘new normal’ will look like, but it is important that companies create a space where employees can feel safe at work.

We know that a lot of people have struggled with mental and physical health since the lockdown measures were introduced. Anxiety levels have rapidly increased, something which we’ve seen in our data, and for those working at home we know that two thirds of adults (63%) are reporting back, neck, hips, knees or wrists problems as a result.

We’ve created a number of different materials to help employees working at home and also to help them feel comfortable going back to their normal place of work. Our checklist provides employers with an easy to use tool to assist with return-to-work policies.

It is likely, that once we return to our normal workplaces, anxiety levels will continue to remain high as we settle into new routines. For me, I think that many people will be anxious about contracting the virus until there is a vaccine in place.

I’m not sure if we will ever return to our old ways of working and employees are likely to be more aware of their health and wellbeing.

We want to ensure companies have everything they need for their employees to safely return to work  and support their needs as we enter the next phases and out of the pandemic.

Arun Thiyagarajan

Medical Director, Bupa UK Health Clinics

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