Warnings against ‘business as usual’

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More Norwegians are heading back to work this week after the end of summer holidays, but business consultants and psychologists are warning employers not to expect “business as usual” after the July 22 terror attacks. They’re urging open discussions of the attacks in the workplace, to ease the risk of after-effects.

“If you ask employees if they need any form of help or follow-up, most will say ‘no, everything is fine,'” psychologist Stein Moen, who works for trade association HSH, told newspaper Aftenposten. “But that’s not so with some of them.”

Both Moen and consultant Trygve Lie say the best employers will pursue the issue, and keep talking about the shock and sorrow that follows the attacks. Many small businesses and retail shops around the government complex were badly damaged in the bombing on July 22, for example, and feelings of security among their staff were shattered along with plate glass windows. Everyone from shop clerks to managers can need extra support, Lie said, especially young employees and part-time summer workers who easily can be overlooked.

“In all operations affected by the attacks, support should be offered also after the first period of shock and sorrow ends,” Lie warned employers. “Don’t just move forward and think everything is okay. Take time for ‘normalization’ meetings with employees.”

Views and News staff