How To Get Offices Ready For Post-Remote Work

how to get office ready post-remote work return workplace safety

Around the world, companies and employees are preparing to resume their pre-pandemic work routines. While remote-working was undoubtedly the answer to social distancing and quarantine regulations, there are many industries that rely on in-office work culture to grow and scale the business. 

While there are still plenty of people working remotely, many have shifted back to their normal office structure, while many others are on the path to doing so. However, this shift back requires effort and planning. As a business, it is important for you to properly plan your post remote-work office return. Here are a few tips to help you successfully achieve this: 

Work On A Plan To Get People Back On-Site 

The first thing you should do is work on a plan for on-site work. Your plan should detail how you plan to transition from remote to on-site work, what necessary SOPs employees must follow, and more. Without a plan, it is easy for things to feel rushed and unorganized in the office, which isn’t a great way to return to work. Not only will this ease the process for you, but your employees will also have a streamlined path to follow as they rejoin the office. 

On the same token, talk to your employees about what works for them and work on the plan as a team. This will be a big adjustment for your team, and you want to make sure that they are comfortable with the precautions you are taking to get everyone safely back into the office. 

Recreate A Preexisting Strategy 

By now you have noticed that the pandemic comes in waves. The first wave of the pandemic was surely strong, but as soon as things started settling down, more COVID cases were reported. One of the biggest reasons the coronavirus saw a surge in cases is because people jumped back into their normal routines without honing in on safe standard operating procedures. 

As history has shown, it is possible we will experience another spike in the future. Your re-exit strategy ensures you have a plan to get back to remote working in the event that we see another surge in cases. The idea is to have a fluid and flexible plan that outlines not only how to get back into the office, but how you can quickly revert to a remote work model if necessary. 

Focus On Health And Safety 

“Health and safety regulations should be your number one priority,” says ROSI Office Systems Inc, a retailer that specializes in office furniture in Houston. “Your employees might be skeptical about returning to the office and they need to know how you will be focusing on health and safety. It is important for you to set up sanitizing schedules and stations and to communicate how you will be keeping your new office environment clean.” 

Even in the office, it is important for you to continue practicing everyday preventive actions. This means keeping your mask on, staying a safe distance apart from other employees, and having tissues, antibacterial soap, and hand sanitizer readily available. Always make it clear to employees that if they are experiencing any symptoms, they should stay home until they can get tested. 

Establish Effective Communication 

Remote work has reinforced the importance of effective communication. And it is not just about listening; effective communication involves listening actively and offering feedback to the speaker. Although you will be returning to the office, it is still important to reduce the amount of contact from one employee to the next. 

This means you should avoid unnecessary meetings or walking over to someone’s desk unless it is a timely or important matter. Otherwise, your method of communication should be mostly digital. To ensure the flow of communication, let your employees know what platforms you plan to communicate on for what challenges. 

Make The Transition Easy 

You don’t want your employees to feel like they are being moved to a completely different work method instantly. Ease them into making the transition to on-site working. The best way to go about this is to make sure that you welcome them warmly. Add some plants around the office, opt for comfortable office furniture, add healthy snacks to the kitchen, and consider some office perks that you may not have offered before to get your team excited about returning. 

Since employees will be accustomed to working from home, creating a home-like environment is an effective way to get them back on routine. Go easy on the dress code, organize activities that allow employees to personalize their work spaces (like creating an inspiration board), and respect the fact that everyone handles things differently. 

Be Flexible About Working Methods 

Now, you don’t want to switch things around instantly. Start with making things more flexible. Rather than having stringent work and office schedules, try to keep shifts for different days. 

Instead of requiring your team to come into the office immediately, start with having them come in for a few days a week. Easing the transition will help employees and business owners alike.

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