CINCINNATI, Ohio — Since 2006, a 66-year-old man has been struggling with uncontrollable diabetes. Combine that with a bad cough he’s had for the last two years, and he’s concerned about going back to work.
- An expert says many Ohioans share a concern about going back to the office
- She suggests employees reach out to their employers to go over safety precautions and the new work routine
- She says it’s ultimately up to the employers to help create an environment where employees feel safe and productive
Not wanting to reveal his name or employer – he’s asked Spectrum News 1 to refer to him by his initials "P.S."
“We’re still touching paper, we’re still passing each other in the halls if we’re working and I feel for those people who are still working,” he said.
As a supervisor at a semi-large financial institution, P.S is due to retire in a little over three months, and he’s among a growing number of people who don’t want to go back to the office.
UC Health Stress Center Director Dr. Kate Chard said many Ohioans share that concern.
So, she suggests employees reach out to their employers to go over safety precautions and the new work routine.
“What are the precautions? What should I be aware of? What should I be ready for? Especially, if you’re someone who tends to run a little bit nervous anyway sometimes having answers can make the bar a little bit more reasonable of what we can expect," said Dr. Chard.
And if you have children and are concerned about leaving them home, you could talk to your employer about possibly changing your schedule.
“Maybe weekends would be better for some people. Maybe evenings or nights would be better for some people and can we play around with some of those shifts or even allow people to go part-time that were full-time until their kids can get back to a place where they’re being cared for," Dr. Chard said.
She also wants employees to understand that “the likelihood of transmitting this disease is significantly reduced if you’re wearing a face mask and if the other person is wearing a face mask and we know that washing our hands is the number one key.”
Dr. Chard says it’s ultimately up to the employers to help create an environment where employees feel safe and productive.
“As a supervisor, we have to walk that really important line of being supportive of peoples’ nervousness, being responsive and respective of things that we can do to keep them safe, but also not making it worse by expressing our own worries and concerns,” she said.
As for P.S, he’s not sure what he’ll do if his employer doesn’t give him an option.
“That has been a debate in my mind for a week or two now, saying will I go back, or will I just say 'hey, I’m sorry, I’m done,'" he said.