Moving Back to the Office in 2022? Share This Crucial Checklist With Your Employees First

Blog
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January 11, 2022
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By
Nicholas K

We’re already (almost) two weeks into the new year, so if you missed our first blog post of the year, click here! We certainly hope that 2021 has been a year of growth and learning for you — just as it has been for all of us here at altHR. As we begin 2022, we’ve been working on a series of helpful guides and checklists for employers and HR professionals in Malaysia (which you can access for free on our Resource centre) to get started on the year’s planning. 

Putting aside high-level tasks to complete for HR personnel and employers (such as building digital resilience for your business), the start of 2022 will also be the resumption of normalcy for many employees — to an extent. 

With Malaysia now fully in Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan, most employees are now returning to the physical workplace, although this is certainly subject to official SOPs and guidelines from the authorities. But a portion of accountability rests on the shoulders of all of your employees — not just employers and HR departments. 

As such, here’s a quick list of to-dos that your employees must check off before returning to the office. 

1. Self-test kits 

Whether you’re implementing a staggered return to the office, a team a/b setup, or even full operating capacity, a good piece of advice is for employees to regularly take self-tests for COVID-19. These are usually available in the form of RTK-antigen tests, which have a quicker turnaround time and lower costs than RT-PCR tests. 

Regardless, you’re best advised to take self-tests at regular intervals, particularly if employees are operating at the physical workplace regularly. If you’re working in HR, and you’re wondering which test kits to opt for, click here for a list of approved products from the Medical Device Authority (MDA), under the Ministry of Health in Malaysia. 

Then, be sure to implement a system for employees to check in with their (hopefully) negative test results. If results are positive, you’ll also need to have an active plan in place with regards to contact tracing, reporting to the relevant authorities, and immediately implementing a work-from-home arrangement for the affected employee(s) and close contacts. 

2. Check-in everyday with health status + location

Meanwhile, employees should be updating — managers, HR, and other team members — with their daily statuses. This should include location (WFH/WFO), clock-in time, and even health status (whether the employee is feeling unwell). If an employee checks in as unwell, they should immediately take a self-test for COVID-19, and if possible, be instructed to immediately work from home until they have been tested for COVID-19. 

We’ve asked around, and plenty of companies are using manual, cumbersome methods to track daily check-ins. WhatsApp, Excel spreadsheets — you name it, we’ve heard it. However, the best method to truly keep track of daily updates from your team is a digital, all-in-one HR system: altHR. 

Click here to find out more about the Check-Ins module on altHR, and how it can help with this.  

3. Avoid overcrowding meeting rooms and common areas in the workplace

It’s important to remember that COVID-19 continues to be a threat to employee health, and consequently overall business productivity. Even with full operational capacity, 2021 has taught us that we should continue to adhere to SOPs and guidelines to ensure that potential risk is minimised and mitigated. 

With that in mind, you should always have a system in place to avoid overcrowding of common spaces in the workplace, while ensuring that employees take precautions such as face masks in these areas. You can, of course, utilise a traditional Excel spreadsheet for this — but an easier, and more effective way to do this would be to utilise altHR. 

The Spaces module was specifically designed for this very purpose, with functionality meaning employees can book common areas ahead of time. This can be your common meeting rooms, or even facilities such as in-office gyms, or pantries. Be sure to set rules and regulations ahead of time with regards to maximum occupancies and timing, and share these with your employees before they make bookings via altHR.

4. Let your managers know when you’ll be in the office — ahead of time

Similarly, managers and HR personnel need to be fully aware of the number of employees that will be in the physical office at any given time — ahead of time. Just like the above, this is to ensure that maximum occupancy isn’t overloaded, and that there is sufficient space for social distancing and other safety measures with regard to COVID-19. 

Coupled with the Spaces module above, altHR also comes with a Rostering module. This can be useful for retail-style workplaces, but the team here at Digi-X even uses this feature to manage our very own team a/b setups to ensure that the office is never overcrowded, and that management is aware of the number of employees that will be in the office. 

This allows the team to plan for meetings, whether they’re to be held physically or virtually, and for general well-being and safety of employees.

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altHR: Empowering HR professionals and employers to manage the safe return to the workplace

Our Resource centre is home to a huge repository of HR guides — you can read our useful article guides, watch insightful webinars, or even catch up with our podcast series, all for free. That’s all a part of our long-term aim: to enable Malaysian businesses to be awesome at doing what they do with Digi’s super app, altHR. 

Manually keeping track of HR processes like leave entitlements, payroll, and even performance reviews for employees can be a challenging process for employers and HR professionals — but it doesn’t have to be. 

altHR can help with this. The Leaves module (one of the most popular features on the app) is a comprehensive tool that helps to keep track of your employees leave allocations, requests, and policies. 

You’ll even be able to handle the more complex aspects of leave policies, such as the different entitlements for different groups of employees based on tenure with the company, marital status, levels, carry-forward balances, replacement leave policy, and even leave reports. There are even options for automatic carry-forward leave balances, or custom limits you can set. 

And of course, all of that works seamlessly with the other modules in the new normal, such as Highlights,  Documents, Expense and Payroll Management. 

HR professionals are often faced with daunting, often tedious tasks on a daily basis — tasks that have become even more difficult to handle in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

But help is available, if you know where to look. Let us streamline your HR processes by managing and automating day-to-day tasks, so you won’t have to worry about things like paperwork, privacy concerns, time-tracking, or onboarding challenges.

Sign up for altHR, the all-in-one digital solution that covers everything from payroll and onboarding, to staff management and providing employees with information kits. You’ve done it the old way long enough.

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