As rates of COVID-19 infection slow and appear to plateau in Germany, the national conversation has begun to contemplate what businesses will need to do to gradually return to pre-shutdown life. Political and business leaders are eager to reopen the country and restart the economy.
A survey conducted by HelloFreshGO shows that more than 75% of the companies completely stopped working in the office to work from home in the short term. But the emphasis is on “short-term” because our numbers show that there is a great desire to return to the office.
The “reopening” is posed with a unique challenge, where the vast majority of the population still has no immunity and remains vulnerable. Until there can be a medical solution, it has been largely recommended continuing some physical distancing between individuals for the foreseeable future. The state prescribed rules of contact restrictions is particularly challenging at workplaces – and will require some serious creativity and a thorough planning by the leaders regarding the move back models, food solutions and health/safety standards at every business location.
In our conversations at HelloFreshGo, with customers and prospects, we have come across varying opinions and approaches many are taking to prepare for the New Reality.
To better plan for this New Reality for both our customers and ourselves, we are currently conducting a study with many HR and business leaders across Germany, to understand what business leaders are prioritizing during this transition phase. We will publish the results of our study in the next two weeks, on this page- so watch out for more updates in the coming days. If you are a CEO, CHRO, HR leader, Director or other C-level exec involved in the Post-Corona planning for your company, we request you to participate in this study to give us your recommendations and perspective. As a token of appreciation, we will email you the study results and summary to use for your planning. Click here now to participate.
Meanwhile, internally we have created a task force at HelloFreshGO – a team of specialists from different areas who deal with all questions, plans and the implementation of health and safety measures regarding the pandemic. This team internally developed concepts and rules of conduct to resume back-to-office operations at HelloFreshGO, which are based on requirements given by the state.
We have summarized the most important measures when returning to the office here, that might be helpful for your planning ahead:
1. Involve experts
Be aware of your options and use your own experts or external experts if necessary. Many companies have occupational safety specialists or company doctors who can help plan and implement protective measures. Alternatively, you can also consult external partners to plan the necessary measures in the company.
2. Ensure a safe distance and provide protection equipment
Take appropriate organizational measures to reduce employee contacts to a minimum. For example shift plans, break and lunch times should be realigned to reduce personal contacts. Ensure the safety distance of at least 1.5 meters everywhere. This applies to staying inside buildings as well as outdoors, in vehicles, etc. In order to implement this, we recommend appropriate barriers, markings and access regulations.
3. Recognize risk potential
Encourage your employees to check their own health situation before starting work. Persons with recognizable symptoms (slight fever, shortness of breath, etc.) should stay at home or leave the workplace immediately until the suspicion has been clarified by the doctor.
4. Take additional hygiene measures
Provide washing facilities and disinfectants, especially at the entrance / exit and near the workplaces. Instruct your employees to increase the cleaning of shared rooms, company vehicles, work equipment and other contact areas. If it is not possible to separate by spacing or protective screens, provide the necessary equipment (“nose and mouth covers”, disinfectants, gloves, etc.) for all relevant internal and external persons.
5. Protect especially high risk groups
Occupational health services (for example a company doctor) can give individual advice on work-related health risks. Previous illnesses and fears can also be discussed there. If you become aware that a person belongs to a risk group, take the necessary individual protective measures.
6. Contribute to pandemic prevention
In order to be able to react quickly to detected infections, you should develop a process for pandemic prevention and cooperate with the local health authorities to identify, inform and possibly isolate other potentially infected people. Employees should be encouraged to contact a permanent contact person in the company if they suspect an infection.
7. Active communication on health and safety measures
Also make sure to let your employees know that their safety and health have top priority. All operational infection control measures, information and rules of conduct should be explained in an understandable manner and tested if necessary.
8. More Telework/Work from Home
Where feasible, businesses could continue to encourage telework as much as possible until vaccination is widespread, and non-essential travel should be limited. If employee engagement and employee catering maybe a concern for you, HelloFreshGo may have a solution for your employees working from home. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore options on this.
9. Safer and hygienic food solutions in The Offices
How do you manage when canteens are closed in times of the pandemic? Even though there are restaurants with pick-up options and supermarkets, they often come with the issues of long waiting lines and not to forget, the increased point of contacts for employees. According to state guidelines, employees should therefore eat individually at the workplace and bring their own food. This is not very satisfactory for most of the employees. But here the innovative fridge service from HelloFreshGO is the perfect solution. HelloFreshGO provides employees with a great variety of fresh meals directly at the workplace – without long journeys to restaurants and supermarkets and without any waiting times.
With our prepacked products from the fridge, we offer the necessary protection and the best alternative for the usual catering options and most importantly are able to help your employees to reduce the personal contact points to a minimum.
We are very proud to make a decisive contribution in the area of employee food solutions for German companies in these difficult times and to support current and future partners during this crisis with our solutions like HelloFreshGo Smart Fridge & HelloFreshGo Box.
Give us your feedback and recommendations on how companies should transition back to offices successfully. Click here.