Business is open sign

Back to work after COVID-19 lockdown

On 23 March 2020,  the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping across the United Kingdom and the death toll was starting to climb.  That evening Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, addressed the nation and told us to “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives”.  And so, the coronavirus lockdown started and we all were forced to adjust to a new way of life where we only left home when absolutely necessary to buy food, medicine or for a daily form of exercise.

The New Normal

Ten weeks later and we have taken baby steps to emerge from the lockdown with garden centres and golf courses now open.  The next stage is for larger non-food retail outlets in Northern Ireland to open their doors on Monday 8 June.

It is a “new normal” for us all though.  Hand sanitiser, the 20 second handwash, masks and gloves are now normal as is the two metre social distancing rule as we cautiously escape from the lockdown cocoon where many of us have hidden away in using Zoom, Facetime and the phone to keep in contact with the outside world.

But what about the people who are returning to work after the COVID-19 lockdown?  How will they adjust to working in “the new normal”?

Safety comes first

Safety is the number one priority.  Changes should have been made to the workplace to ensure that staff can maintain a 2 metre distance from work colleagues and from customers.  Perhaps working hours have been adjusted to ensure that not all staff are in work at the same time.

Regular handwashing is essential especially if money is changing hands.  Anti-bacterial cleaner should be used on keyboards, phones, tills and card readers too.  In some workplaces, there may be additional personal protective equipment (PPE) required such as masks, gloves and aprons.

Training about the new COVID-19 advice

During the COVID-19 lockdown,  WorldHost 2020, an e-learning course, has been developed by People 1st and Skills for Health.  This 60 minute programme is designed to prepare staff for duty in today’s changed consumer environment and includes practical information about PPE, social distancing, handwashing and much more. It is relevant to all industry sectors including retail, hospitality, utility companies and transport.

Training all staff in a business gives them the opportunity to apply for a ‘WorldHost 2020′ badge to display on physical entrances and digital platforms.  This gives the public reassurance that investment in hygiene and social safety measures are in place.

How much does the WorldHost 2020 e-learning course cost?

Well that’s the best bit – it’s just a fiver per person!