Staggered work patterns will help as businesses resume trading

With lockdown measures lifting, businesses may now look to return employees to work. However, coronavirus now presents a significant operational problem in that employees are having to return to an enclosed working space.

Considering a staggered work pattern may help with this – where businesses plan for employees to start, and finish, work at different times. Typically, they will work the same hours, but with a change in their structure.

Here are some of the advantages:

  1. It can help you and your staff fix times when they (or you) want to start and finish.
  2. The approach will help avoid traffic in your workplace, particularly during peak hours—so, there will be no crowding onto lifts or queues in the canteen.
  3. In a quieter workplace, you can monitor your health & safety procedures more effectively—simply as there are fewer people at any given time.
  4. It can ease pressure on employees, many of whom will feel nervous about their return to work.

In short, staggered working may give more control over how the business functions. The fewer employees at work at once, the easier to manage – this can also help productivity and minimise the risk of infection. Many businesses are having to consider operating across seven working days per week and staggering shifts may allow this to occur seamlessly. Of course, this type of contractual change will require consultation and a variation of terms and conditions (albeit temporary) but it is worth considering now, how staggered working might operate and using the time now, to consult with staff as to how this might work in practice.


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