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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 22, 2021 • Issue 21:03:02


A safe return to the office

With an increasing number of adults receiving one of the COVID-19 vaccines, optimism abounds that it will soon be safe to work much like we did before the pandemic altered our reality. And if you you run an ISO or other payments-related business, ensuring that you bring people back to the office safely is probably one of your biggest concerns.

Whether yours is a small payments software startup or a Super ISO, a growing data security provider or a merchant services department at a major bank, and whether you're situated in a small town, a large city or a suburban area, attracting and retaining the best workers is also on the top of your agenda.

If you put in place the right kind of protocols as you welcome people to the office or send your sales team into the field again, safety and employee retention can go hand in hand, because your top employees and potential recruits are just as interested in health and safety in the workplace as you are.

Address real concerns

It's likely you'll find some colleagues are raring to return to the office. For example, schools are opening again, and many parents who've been juggling homeschooling and work are eager to ferry their children to school, grab a cup of coffee to go, board the elevator and boot up computers they haven't touched in a year.

Others—despite loosening of restrictions, widespread vaccine availability and precautionary protocols—may continue to worry about their safety in an office environment. Given the pervasive nature of the pandemic, which may have directly affected the family of someone in the desk next to yours, this reluctance shouldn't be dismissed. It is essential to communicate clearly to all staff what is being done to protect them. Researchers have found that one-third of employees will expect less density and greater physical separation from colleagues in the workplace than previously. Accommodating this need will likely require some renovation. How much you do will depend on your ingenuity, budget and your landlord's willingness to pitch in.

Spread the contactless concept

The payments industry has been exemplary in making contactless payments easy to incorporate into the checkout experience. Can landlords help make physical environments as touch free as possible, too, by having contactless doors, elevators and restroom facilities? Another area to review is ventilation to improve air quality. And something as simple as more frequent cleaning of common areas is another way to limit the spread of disease and ease people's minds while they're at work.

So, before you bring the crew back in or send them into the field, do some research, meet with your landlord and give all the areas your company will use a thorough inspection so you can remediate deficiencies. And revise your office and field policies and procedures manual to incorporate whatever safety protocols you deem necessary to keep people safe. Staggered entry and exit times, for example, is one way to limit contact in crowded elevators.

With advance planning, payments industry offices can soon be humming, and people can enjoy the camaraderie that has been so difficult to replicate virtually. end of article

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