How To Cope With The Post-COVID-19 Workspace Conditions As An Expat

Emirates HR

COVID-19 is not just the name of a pandemic anymore. It is fast becoming part of our everyday reality. As long as we were under lockdown and working from home, it always hovers in the background. With companies asking staff who really need to be in the office to show up for work, employees are rightfully both excited and nervous to show up, not to mention brimming with a million questions of what to expect once they get to their place of work. 

A lot of companies have been pleasantly surprised to find out that working remotely has worked quite well for them, and they are happy to continue avoiding physical employee presence. Of course, this doesn’t work for every industry. In particular, the financial sector is requesting that most of its workforce make its way back to the office. Both employees and employers have to work hand in hand, going forward to increase productivity and, most importantly, to ensure everyone’s safety. Using your HR payroll software to send payslips is one such initiative. 

Keeping Yourself Safe And Protected In Public

Ask your employer if you must come in. If the answer is yes, do the due diligence before you step out of the house. Make sure you have an extra mask, a spare set of gloves, and a sanitizer bag if you’re not able to wash your hands. Don your mask correctly, ensuring it covers your face and nose so air can enter and put on your gloves before you head outdoors. If you’re going to drive in your car, be sure to sterilize the steering wheel, door handles, sun visor, and in case of manual drives, the gearbox. 

For those using public transport, give yourself ample time in advance so you won’t be waiting since buses and trains are operating at 30 percent capacity. It goes without saying to maintain social distancing (stand 2m apart) whenever there are others around. Try your hardest to avoid touching surfaces like poles and doors, refrain from touching your face until necessary and use a hand sanitizer immediately after if you do.

Safety Standards In The Office 

Once you reach your workplace, your temperature will be checked before you head to your desk. Employees are required to wear their masks both inside and outside the office. While you are bound to be excited to be among your colleagues once again, avoid shaking hands or hugging them outright. If you must make your excitement felt, opt for the popular elbow touch. In the beginning, there will be different feels to the office atmosphere with no group lunches and minimal coffee and cigarette breaks (complete with the social distancing, of course). Still, the necessity for all these procedures is sure to trump everything else. 

Avoid using your bare or even gloved hands to open door handles, use a tissue or your arm – or if you want to get really creative, even your knee. Don’t be afraid to hold back a generic cough or sneeze, but maintain etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue if you have one or your bent elbow if you don’t. And then you go and wash your hands for 20 seconds to rid yourself and others of any potential germs. 

Keeping Yourself Safe And Protected At Work

All places of work are required to have sanitizers nearby, so don’t hesitate to use one whenever you deem necessary, such as before using your landline. Similarly, disinfect your mobile before usage and opt for a Bluetooth headset to minimize any risk. We realize that you have been away from the office for quite a few weeks and are eager to make up for a lost time, but don’t overstay beyond regulated working hours. You can find the necessary information or send in any immediate requests through the HR software established at your firm. The name of the game is safety first.


A lot of discoveries were made during the two-month quarantine, the biggest of all being that life doesn’t stop for anyone, and neither do economies. Yes, they have slowed down. They are under more pressure. Some are even struggling, but all continue to fight. For this fight to continue and make a difference, employees worldwide need to do their part. This doesn’t mean, however, that employees should be putting themselves at risk. It is up to employers to act responsible – now more than ever before – and a cloud-based HR software can be of optimal help.