KSA has taken several precautionary and preventive measures to control and limit the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19), in order to preserve the safety of KSA nationals and residents. One of the decisions taken consisted in reducing the number of private sector employees who attend the workplace to 40%, with effect from 18 March 2020 until further notice. Accordingly, the offices started applying remote work until work can be resumed at the workplace. As the offices are keen to make the workplace safe for the employees, an integrated plan was prepared for the employees’ return to work, to ensure that the work environment is convenient for the coming period, by following the best health and safety standards in the workplace.
General Framework of the Return to Work Plan
- After returning to the workplace
Guidelines, Instructions and Awareness
Increasing awareness messages on all platforms available to employees.
Occupational Health and Safety
Providing all basic requirements, such as sanitisers and tools to preserve the employees’ safety.
Working on encouraging remote training programmes that are compliant with the development needs of the office employees.
Performance and Productivity Measurement
Measuring the performance of employees working at the workplace and remote employees by setting objectives accurately and linking them to the deadlines agreed upon.
- Before returning to the workplace
Determining the jobs’ functions and nature in order to specify the jobs that are appropriate for the remote work.
Policy Development and Creation
Developing policies related to returning to work and creating some policies.
Preparation of the Work Environment
Preparing the work environment for employees by following the best health and safety standards in the workplace.
Pre-return to Work Procedures
- Enabling electronic transformation
- Enabling the method of dealing with internal systems outside the workplace.
- Developing systems that help measuring and improving the employees’ competence and reducing paperwork.
- Preparing the work environment
- Providing cleaning and sanitisation tools.
- Providing medical examination devices.
- Informative and awareness publications.
- Designing an employee training programme after referring to the decisions.
- Communicating with employees
- Increasing awareness and educational messages.
- Engaging employees in all the decisions taken.
Preparing the work environment
- Cleanliness and sanitisation
All cleaning and sanitisation tools shall be provided before the employees arrival to the workplace.
Not Sharing Tools
Ensuring that employees do not share office tools as much as possible.
Not Closing Offices’ Doors
Activating open-door policy to reduce contact with surfaces.
Cleaning and Sanitising Offices
Offices should be cleaned and sanitised on a daily basis before the employees arrival to the workplace.
Providing Cloth Masks
Cloth masks should be provided to and used by the employees.
Hand sanitisers should be provided at the main entrance and in every floor and office.
A place should be specified to get rid of used masks so that they are disposed of throughout the day.
- Medical Examination Devices
A full examination should be made to employees and all necessary tools should be provided before the employees entrance to the workplace.
A thermometer should be provided to test employees before entering the workplace.
Providing Self-sanitisation Materials
Providing sanitisation materials to employees before entering the workplace.
Circulating Policies and Procedures
- Disclosure Policy
All office employees should, for their safety and the safety of the rest of employees, abide by the office disclosure policy by adhering to the following:
Each employee should disclose his whereabouts during the two weeks immediately preceding the return to work inside and outside KSA.
Each employee should disclose if he has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or suspected to have it during the two weeks preceding the return to work.
Each employee should disclose if he shows symptoms such as high fever, cough or shortness of breath and should isolate himself immediately.
- Electronic Transactions
All office employees should adhere to electronic transactions to reduce sharing paper among employees:
Each employee should not share office electronic files outside the office’s authorised systems (such as official e-mail, official shared drives, teams software and other office platforms approved by the office).
Each employee should reduce receiving and delivering paperwork and should activate communication through official office platforms (e-mail – Teams software).
Technology engagement should be encouraged and enhanced while adhering to the authorised platforms.
- Remote Work
All office employees whose jobs require remote work should abide by the remote work policy.
Each employee working remotely should commit to the targeted results and the required productivity agreed upon.
Each employee working remotely should adhere to the electronic office platforms.
Line Managers should measure the performance of remote employees by setting goals accurately and linking them to the deadlines agreed upon.
- Training and Development
Completing the development process of the office employees through:
Suspending all training courses and workshops requiring physical presence.
Activating remote training through e-learning platforms.
- Gatherings Policy
All office employees should adhere to the gatherings policy by complying with the following:
Preventing gatherings of more than 3 employees at the workplace.
Suspending all events
Prohibiting any social events in the workplace.
Prayer should be performed in several stages and the distance between one worshiper and another should be 1.5 m.
- Welcoming Customers
Several procedures should be followed, namely:
Limiting customers’ visits to the workplace and organize their entry through coordination with the Line Manager.
Enhancing self-service by communicating electronically with customers.
Activating communication channels with employees and offering them support.