Director for People and Culture at Absa Bank, William Easmon says getting staff back to work after the lifted lockdown presents challenges but ensuring safety of an organisation’s staff is paramount to help people ease into it.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Sunday afternoon health show, Ultimate Health Mr Easmon said, “we have to deal with two main issues here: the virus itself and the downstream emotion caused by  this virus. So the fear, the anxiety, depression, the irritability of colleagues, the worry, and the fact that, all of a sudden, you have to come back to work.”

At Absa, he explained that as an essential service allowed to operate during the lockdown, the bank simply carried over the new adapted styles of work such as working from home; into the lifted lockdown period to ensure human health and safety in the workplace.

“We did not shut down completely because we are seen as essential. We actually ran a system where colleagues worked from home, critical staff worked from the offices and others took their leave.”

“With the lift of the lockdown we are still running this particular system. Our mantra is that if it can be done from home, it must be done from home. Because we want to ensure that our colleagues are safe. The safety of our colleagues is paramount,” he said.

“Organisations are made up of human beings and so it is important that we secure and protect that resource,” he stressed.

So for us at Absa there are various strategies we’ve put in place to ensure that colleagues feel safe. We have worked to sway the fears of our colleagues by putting in place all the necessary protocols to ensure that they are safe,” he added.