Published 23.2.2022. These instructions will be modified as required as we obtain further information on the COVID-19.

During the pandemic, many workplaces implemented remote work. As the national recommendation to work remotely ends workplaces will become increasingly responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy way of working. Remote work has created many positive experiences and people have learned to recognise the benefits of remote work. Therefore, workplaces must in future asses their own policies regarding remote work, in-office work and the combination of the two.

Workplaces should draft a plan for the return to the workplace and an adequate risk assessment. The plan includes a description of how to implement the return to the workplace in a controlled manner. The plan must take into account the occupational safety and well-being of those shifting from remote work to in-office work and those who have worked in the office during the entire pandemic.

Tips for returning to in-office work:

  • Continue to monitor the progress of the epidemic, and the guidelines and recommendations issued by the authorities. Make any necessary changes to the risk assessment and workplace practices and instructions based on them. The employer decides on all necessary protective measures on the basis of the risk assessment.
    See Instructions for workplaces for assessing the risk of COVID-19 infections >>
  • Prepare the methods for remote and in-office work together with the personnel in, for example, joint discussions.
  • Utilise the well-functioning practices developed during the pandemic, such as online meetings.
  • Ensure that the personnel know the channels for submitting proposals and discussing concerns.
  • Remember to introduce those recruited during the pandemics to the practices and guidelines of the workplace.
  • Take into account the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has burdened people in different ways, and allocate enough time for the return to in-office work.
  • Make facemasks available to both employees and clients, even if, according to a risk assessment, wearing a facemask is no longer required in the workplace.
  • 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.
  • Remember: Come to workplace only if you are healthy. As the restrictions are reduced and more and more contacts are available also the number of infections and sick leaves can increase.
  • Consider whether the increased number of people working in the workplace should be taken 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, take into account the changes created by hybrid work. Hybrid work refers to the combination of work performed remotely and work performed in the office.
  • Update the risk assessment regularly. In the risk assessment, utilise the experience that the occupational health services and the occupational safety and health employees have.

For more information, please contact

The guidelines of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) are drawn up together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (SMAH) and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. We also follow the publications of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).​

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), COVID-19

World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus