Amidst Omicron, worker shortages, and other hiring challenges, employees and business leaders alike are left asking, “What now?” It’s been two years since the country went into lockdown, and the future of COVID is still up in the air. We have one certainty, however – employers have an interest in solutions to ensure they’re fostering a safe and healthy environment for their workers.
As businesses adapt to the endemic COVID, landscape, they’re thinking holistically about what can and should be rolled into employee wellness programs. Just like the annual flu shot, for example, which has historically required visits to primary care providers, many employers provide and may even require it to work onsite.
“Now, Human Resources professionals across many industries are seeing a shift in how companies address COVID worker safety, where COVID testing is included in comprehensive occupational health programs,” says Stacy Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Vault Health Workforce Screening.The transition makes sense: large-scale returns to work post-Omicron, combined with relaxing mask mandates and vaccine requirements, have had some HR departments scrambling to figure out best practices. For essential workers, who may have never stopped onsite work, priorities have shifted excessively throughout the past two years of uncertainty.
Williams says over the past two years, industries were forced to find new ways to do many of the traditional occupational health services they rely on. Whether that was virtual specimen collections, virtual I-9 completions, or the ability to hire faster than ever in healthcare settings, these companies were looking for a new approach to addressing the general health and safety of a company’s workforce.
“It’s really a common-sense shift,” says Williams. “COVID testing promotes the general health and safety of a company’s workforce – which is the same goal of traditional occupational health and workforce screening programs. It’s simply a new way of supporting a safe and productive workplace, which acknowledges how the COVID pandemic has altered the workplace products and services companies need to keep their workforce safe into the future.”
As employees return to the office, here are some key points for HR departments to consider:
- How many employees you have – both on-site and remote
- Do your employees have client-facing or other public-facing activities that require them to show proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID-19 test?
- What do you want your COVID-19 worker safety policy to include, and how will you enforce it?
Vault Health can help you handle all of these logistics with a robust, easy-to-use platform – which means you can keep businesses operating smoothly while also ensuring your workers feel cared for, engaged, and empowered. Learn more here.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be relied upon for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 immediately.