It’s been six months since we all are living like caged birds because of the increasing COVID 19 cases all over the nation. Growing unemployment in a pandemic is the worst we can think of, but now the offices are opening in big cities, providing employment again with various measures. The question is – Is It Safe To Go Back To The Office?
How Safe Is Public Transport?
Owing to a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler is an advantage in this situation. There is a constant fear of crowd infections in public transports. Delhi took the first step towards restarting the public transportation system four weeks ago with certain guidelines such as no more than 20 passengers allowed in a single bus.
The crowd is an issue in any country and necessary measures are being taken to control it. But at times, people are paying less attention to that. Metros and other public transports need strict supervision when it comes to following the rules, comprising social distancing. Sanitation is another issue because of the expense and rush all over.
We suggest you maintain your distance and use your sanitizer every now and then if you need to travel in these transports.
Are The Offices Ready To Have The Employees?
Several measures are being taken to make the offices safe for the employees. The problem is there is nothing we can do to make it 100% safe. Open offices are now on the leading the race of office design spaces but still, it does not guarantee safety.
Maintaining your safe space is important than anything in offices as this virus spreads through contact. Avoid using lifts and touching the door handles, railings, photocopy machines, and water filters. There could be minimal chances of the infection but even if one gets affected, that’s a threat to everyone’s health.
The sneeze-guard screens between the desks can help but the process of cleaning has to be that efficient. This can be expensive. Moreover, air- conditioning is NOT a good idea in the offices, instead, keep the windows open for light, air, and positivity!
Can You Be Forced Back To Work?
There can be three situations in which you are not up to working again-
- You are benefited more by staying at home.
- You are scared of the chaos going on.
- You are fighting the virus and your doctor asks you to stay at home or quarantine center.
The answer to the above question is it depends on your situation.
If you are an essential worker, such as a healthcare worker, food and agricultural employee, and such others, you cannot ask for leave unless you are the one affected by the virus. If you are about to join your work and a little scared, just believe in the faith of the people who needs you the most and looking towards you with all the hope they have.
If you are NOT an essential worker, you can still be called to work because of the contract you signed with the company. An Employment contract can save you, read it well.
What if you were looking after a patient? Well, then your employer will ask you to get tested. Your employer understands how important it is to keep you and his other employees safe from the virus. If you are fit and fine with no traces of the virus in your reports, you can be forced to join the work.
Another question followed by the above one is what about the people who are in High-risk groups?
You can ask for leave as per your Employment Contract. There are conditions that need to be fulfilled for such leaves.
There is a possibility that someone from your family is being quarantined who cannot take care of himself/herself and is completely dependent on you for help. You can ask for “Work from Home” in such situations.
What if you are just scared to join? You can be terminated. The whole world is scared but not paused.
If you have other concerns talk to your co-workers so that you can be protected under the National Labor Relations Act.
If you’re healthy and have been asked to join the work, not exposed to the virus while taking care of your loved ones, without any other concerns, you should probably join the work. Otherwise, you will lose the Unemployment Insurance Benefit, and won’t be eligible for any other relief provided by your company for the benefit of the employees in the pandemic, along with your job.
Be brave and take the right step, we are in this together!