Talent management may be a top organisational priority, but absenteeism remains a significant challenge for Irish
organisations and stress has emerged as a major contributor to absenteeism (44%).

In the CIPD 2019 HR survey over 20% of organisations reported an increase in absenteeism from the previous year.

These are indeed stressful times for everybody. I wonder what the figures for 2020 will read in next years report?

We are not just working from home…. we are working from home in a crisis, having to deal with an avalanche
of unexpected extra stresses – and still have to do our work (or your stress may be caused by the fact
that you have been laid off because there is no work).

Which ever situation you find yourself in, there is no denying that this is hard.

We are all going through it together – but our experiences are unique.

May 1 2020 is National Workplace Wellbeing day – this year it is a little bit different, but we still need to celebrate it,
even if our place of work this year is the kitchen table that is being shared by toys, food, homework and computers!

At this stage, we are beginning to wonder when can we go back to work?

Back to normality… what is going to be our new normality?

Nobody fully knows that answer, but one thing is for sure,
whatever it is, it will not happen on its own. It needs to be planned.

But how can you plan for something when you do not know exactly how things are going to be?
This certainly adds a dimension of challenge, to follow are my top 3 tips to help get you started.

  1. Understanding

Get an understanding of COVID-19 and what it is.
There are numerous resources from Government Departments explaining what the virus is and how it is spread.
Once there is an understanding, questions can be answered, here are a few I have been asked recently;
• What can be done to protect my staff when they eventually return to work?
• How can people work together and observe social distancing rules?
• How will customers come in to shop/eat/attend meetings etc safely?
• What kind of cleaning needs to be done?

  1. Processes
    What work processes or operating procedures need to be updated to incorporate safety measures around COVID-19?
    What new procedures need to be introduced to adhere to HSE Guidelines on social distancing?
    Eg Does signage regarding hand washing need to be updated?
    What changes/updates need to be made regarding health and safety procedures?

  1. Communications
    Engage with your staff – keep them up to date with what is happening.
    Give them clear and concise instructions of what they need to do before returning to work.
    Talk to your customers and your suppliers – it is important to keep them up to date too!
    Let them know what your plans are – even if you do not know when are going to open again.

Nobody likes to be left in the dark about what is going on around them.

These questions and more are topics that I discuss further in my upcoming webinar on how to prepare
for the return to work. Each participant will receive a framework to plan their return to work with COVID-19.

We may not know when that is but we can make sure we are ready for it.
For further information on dates email

Just one more tip….. for whenever you do get back to work…….

Some organisations may not know how to celebrate National Workplace Wellbeing day 2020, but it is not all about this one day.
We all have to look after our wellbeing and mental health – every day, not just on May 1.
So, take time to review what your organisation has done in the past to engage employees?
There is absolute merit in undertaking wellbeing initiatives in work. Outcomes of such initiatives include
improved employee morale and engagement (55%), a healthier culture (34%).

Connect 4 Work offers a range of services with a focus on two main areas. Firstly early interventions to support organisations retain employees who are at risk of absence remain in work and secondly case management to facilitate the return to work of an employee who has been absent due to illness, injury or other reasons.

Contact me via Mary Finn – LinkedIn