The COVID-19 infection rate is slowly dropping and Germany is starting to think about what companies need to do to prepare for a gradual return to the office. Politicians and business leaders are ready to reopen the country and get the economy into full swing.
A survey conducted by HelloFreshGO shows that more than 75% of companies surveyed have stopped working in the office altogether and moved it to employees’ own homes in the short term. But the emphasis here is on “short-term,” because our numbers show: The desire to return to the office is strong.
But this return comes with a major challenge, because the vast majority of the population is still not immune to the virus. Thus, until there is a medical solution, it is still recommended to keep a minimum distance of 1.5m from others and to limit contact. These government-mandated measures of contact restrictions are particularly challenging in workplaces and require not only creativity, but also thorough planning by managers in terms of office equipment, health management and employee catering.
In our exchanges with our clients and prospects, we have come across different opinions and approaches on how companies are preparing for this ‘new reality’.
To help us better prepare for this new phase together with our customers, we are currently conducting a survey with HR and business managers across Germany to understand how executives feel about this topic. The results of our survey will be published on this page in the next two weeks. If you are a CEO, CHRO, HR Manager, Director or other C-level executive involved in post-Corona planning for your organization, we ask that you participate in this survey to share your recommendations and perspectives with us. As a token of our appreciation, we will email you the study results and summary. You can then use this information to inform your own planning. Click here now to participate
In the meantime, we have also created our own “taskforce” at HelloFreshGO. A team of professionals from different areas that deals with all the issues, plans and their implementation around the pandemic. This team has developed concepts and rules of conduct internally for the resumption of office operations at HelloFreshGO, which are based on the government-imposed requirements.
We have summarized the most important measures for returning to the office and what else needs to be observed for you here:
1. Involve experts in occupational health and safety.
Be aware of your options and make use of your own experts or, if necessary, external experts. Many companies have occupational safety specialists or company physicians who can provide support in planning and implementing protective measures. Alternatively, you can also consult external partners to plan the necessary measures within the company.
2 Ensure safety distance and provide material
Ensure a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters universally. This applies equally to inside buildings, outdoors, in vehicles, etc. For implementation, we recommend appropriate barriers, markings and access regulations.
If separation by spatial distance or protective screens is not possible, provide necessary materials (“nose-to-mouth” coverings, disinfectants, gloves, etc.) for all affected internal and external persons for protection.
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 a doctor.
4. Take additional hygiene measures
Provide washing facilities and disinfectants to enable the required frequent hand hygiene, especially at the entrance/exit and near the workplaces. Instruct employees to increase cleaning of shared areas, company vehicles, work equipment and other contact surfaces.
5. Provide special protection for risk groups
Preventive occupational health care (e.g., at the company physician’s office) provides individual advice on work-related health hazards. Pre-existing conditions and fears can also be discussed here. If you become aware that a person belongs to a risk group, take the necessary individual protective measures.
6. Contribute to pandemic preparedness.
In order to be able to react quickly to detected infections, you should develop company routines for pandemic precautions and cooperate with the local health authorities in order to identify, inform and, if necessary, isolate other possibly infected persons. Employees should be encouraged to contact a designated person at work if they suspect they are infected.
7. Health first: active communication
Ensure appropriate communication to employees as well, emphasizing that their health and safety are top priorities. All company infection control measures, instructions and rules of conduct should be explained in a comprehensible manner and, if necessary, tested.
8. More teleworking / working from home.
When possible, telecommuting should be encouraged and non-essential travel should be limited until a vaccine is available. Again, HelloFreshGo offers a catering option for your employees who work from home. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
9. Safe and hygienic employee catering
Especially in these times, it is important for us to share our experience, to jointly benefit from possible solutions and to be a reliable partner for other companies in this crisis. It stands to reason that we are particularly well placed to do this when it comes to one challenge in particular: employee catering.
How can employee catering be organized at the workplace when canteens are closed in times of pandemic? In addition, long lines form in front of restaurants with pick-up options and supermarkets, especially at break times, so that with bad luck there will only be a few minutes left for lunch. Not to mention the many contacts with strangers. According to government recommendations, employees should eat individually at the place and bring their own food. This proposed solution is of course only moderately satisfactory for many. But this is where HelloFreshGO’s innovative refrigerator offers the perfect solution. HelloFreshGO enables all-round catering directly at the workplace – without long distances and waiting times.
We are very proud to make a decisive contribution in the area of staff supply for German companies in these difficult times and to support current and future partners in this emergency with our HelloFreshGO Smart Fridge
and HelloFreshGo Box.
We would be happy if you would share your opinion and suggestions around this topic with us. Click here.