The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to have a profound impact on Canadian workplaces. Although many workplaces have reopened following the initial shutdown, it is imperative that organizations learn from the past and anticipate some of the challenges that may lay ahead during the second wave. Here are a few topics that warrant consideration to ensure a smooth transition as organizations continue to navigate these unchartered waters.

Do you have COVID-19 policies in place?

Have you implemented any policies related to COVID-19? If not, there is no better time than the present. Policies should contemplate the following topics: health and safety (including the use of PPE and social distancing), working from home, time away from work and travel.

If you have already implemented policies related to COVID-19 in your workplace, now is the time to pause and reflect on those policies. It is a worthwhile exercise to assess how these policies have served the organization up until now and whether any changes are required.

Supporting your employees

It is inevitable that as the COVID-19 case numbers increase and as the weather gets colder, your employees will likely face more isolation in their lives. Does your benefit plan include an Employee Assistance Program or other services related to mental health? If so, providing information about how to access these supports may be beneficial.

For those employees who continue to work from home, finding ways to engage and connect with employees may help with the mental strain that some individuals may be experiencing as a result of the pandemic.

Anticipating a possible financial downturn

With the knowledge of how the first wave impacted workplaces, it may be useful to anticipate the financial strain that may be placed on your organization in the second wave. Have you applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy? Does your organization need to impose a temporary layoff on some of its employees? Are permanent staffing reductions necessary? Empower yourself with information regarding the laws and costs associated with making these types of decisions.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above, please do not hesitate to reach out to speak with an e2r® Advisor.