Return to the workplace should be planned carefully

As the national recommendation to work remotely ended on 15 October 2021, workplaces will become increasingly responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy way of working. Workplaces should have a plan for the return to the workplace and they should update their risk assessment concerning COVID-19 infections. As workplaces and the work performed within them are very different, each workplace must assess its situation independently. The experts at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health have drawn up a list of tips to support the return to the workplace.

Tips for returning to the workplace

  • Prepare the methods for remote and in-office work together with the personnel in, for example, joint discussions.
  • Ensure that the personnel know the channels for submitting proposals and discussing concerns. The coronavirus pandemic has burdened people in different ways.
  • Continue to monitor the progress of the epidemic situation, and the guidelines and recommendations issued by the authorities.
  • Update the risk assessment regularly. In the risk assessment, utilise the experience the occupational health services and the occupational safety and health employees have.
  • Lift restrictions in a controlled manner. The employer decides on the required measures, such as face masks, based on the risk assessment while also taking into account the face mask recommendation issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
  • Make face masks available to both employees and clients, even if wearing a face mask is no longer required.
  • Consider whether the return to the workplace should happen gradually, in groups, for example. In this way you can ensure that common spaces, such as break rooms and lunch facilities, do not become crowded.
  • Take the increased number of people working in the workplace into account when making arrangements for meetings. You can, for example, ensure that calendars are not fully booked so that people have enough time to move from one meeting room to another, if needed.
  • When planning how your facilities are to be used in the future, take into account the changes created by hybrid work. Hybrid work refers to the combination of work performed remotely and work performed in the workplace (in-office work).

See Tips for planning the return to the workplace >>

FIOH will no longer update all of its COVID-19 instructions

The COVID-19 instructions of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health were created for a situation in which the risk of COVID-19 infections was significant in Finland and special restrictions were necessary in workplaces in order to reduce the risk of infections. As the vaccination coverage rate has increased, the need for the instructions has decreased, therefore, some COVID-19 instructions will no longer be updated. Almost all previous instructions are still available on our website and the links to them still work.

We still maintain and update the following instructions (translations to English will follow shortly):

See All COVID-19 instructions by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Further information

Tommi Alanko, Director, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, tel. +358 (0)40 719 2521, tommi.alanko[at] (risk assessment)
Pia Perttula, Senior Research Scientist, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, tel. +358 (0)43 820 0499, pia.perttula[at] (tips for planning the return to the workplace)
Eva Helaskoski, Director, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, tel. +358 (0)46 851 2432, eva.helaskoski[at] (occupational health services)

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