As we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, employees are having to readjust their lives once again after working remotely, to now returning to the office. After being quarantined for just about two months – the shift may take some getting used to. Here are some tips on how to help your team return to work post-quarantine.
Decide Who Will Return to the Office/Stay Remote
Depending on how large your company is and what their job titles consist of, make the choice prior to returning to work on who will go into the office, and who will continue to work remotely. This way all team members are aware, on the same page – and can develop a plan for themselves as well.
Address Employees with Caretaking Obligations
If your office is opening their doors soon, be sure to address employees who have family, or children at home. Some school districts have closed for the school year, leaving parents in a difficult position on finding care when they would normally be in school. If there are employees who are in these situations, take the time to address this, and come up with a schedule, or plan going forward.
Decide and Announce Policies and Procedures
Whether you are requiring face masks, taking temperatures before employees enter the workplace, ensuring desk clean up at the end of each day, or asking for a doctor’s note, etc. – be sure to communicate these new policies with your team prior to returning to work. Implementing the 6-foot rule and reminding employees about sanitizing and playing their part may be obvious, but should not go unaddressed.
Decide on Incoming Foot Traffic Frequency
If you typically have an open-door policy or scheduled appointments throughout the day, decide ahead of time whether you are going to limit your in-person contact when returning to work. Maybe you continue to conduct phone or video meetings. Maybe you only have walk-in hours for a certain time period, and require everyone who enters to wear a face mask. Regardless, decide on these protocols beforehand.
Deep Clean Office and Provide Supplies
Before returning to work, be sure the workplace is deep-cleaned, all materials, office supplies, office equipment, countertops, space, etc are sanitized. In addition, ensure that there are plenty of supplies provided for your staff, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray/wipes, etc. This will also make them feel more comfortable returning to work.
Give Your Employees Time to Adjust
With employees having to make the shift, after working remotely for a few months – chances are they have developed a new work routine. As much as we can’t wait for things to get back to normal, assuming this is unrealistic as readjusting can take some time and getting used to. So try to be more flexible with schedules, hours, allow certain employees to work remotely a few days a week if possible, and allow the transition to be as stress-free as it can be.
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