Many companies are beginning to prepare for a slow return to the workplace over the next few weeks as businesses reopen. Planning for a safe return to the office can be overwhelming, especially when there still isn’t much known about COVID-19 or its potential future impact. However, there are a few things everyone can do to help prepare your office to return to “normal.”
Don’t Forget to Communicate
Communication is key during the COVID-19 era, especially with employers. For many individuals, navigating the pandemic and employment has been difficult. Most people are still waiting to hear about when they will return. Others may never see the inside of their office again.
As an employer, it is important to make sure you effectively communicate each of the company’s moves and decisions to the staff. This communication includes ensuring staff members that they will not have to return to the workplace until safety measures have been agreed upon and put into place.
Effective communication efforts will also help boost morale within the company. Being kept out of the loop will make returning to the office even more overwhelming. Once a decision has been made, figure out a way to effectively communicate any changes with your team.
Keep Flexible Schedules Optional
Don’t make returning to the office a requirement at first if it is possible for the position. Some staff members may have vulnerable health or childcare dilemmas due to the pandemic. Try to remain as flexible for these individuals as possible and set up a continued work-from-home program.
It is possible that your staff may have proven to be more productive working from home throughout all of this. If that is the case, you may want to extend the option to work-from-home to all of your employees if they choose to do so.
Buy Protective Gear for Employees
For those companies where it is not possible to work from home, it is important to initiate precautions to help protect staff members. Communicate these efforts with your team and let them know how you are changing things to better protect them.
Some businesses may do this in the form of providing protective gear to their employees while they are at work. Others have begun adding protective equipment into the workplace, making offices smaller and adding protective shields around desks. These small changes can make staff members feel more secure about returning to work.
Redesign Your Office Space
Office spaces with open floor plans may need to rethink their current setup. Because there is no end in sight when it comes to COVID-19, it is worth investing money into redesigning the office to help prevent the spread.
For the most part, these changes will be things like one-way corridors and smaller desk spaces catered to single-person use. Cubicles will likely make a comeback to the office world with a vengeance.
Lastly, it is important to stay patient and remember everyone is adjusting to these new policies. The world has changed in a big way for everyone. Be patient and try to communicate as best you can. The changes coming to our workplaces and offices are likely here to stay.
Businesses concerned about how to best return to the office during this time may also consider reaching out for resources. Contact us about the best way to transition everyday operations back into the office.