As well as insisting on social distancing measures needed to get your staff back in the office, even on a more flexible basis, there are a number of things that you can be doing to make the return as seamless as you can.
There is no doubt going to be a novelty factor in terms of getting back to work and seeing colleagues in the flesh again. But creating a framework for returning to the workplace is key. We know that many businesses have been working extremely hard in putting processes in place, but these need to be flexible and adaptable in line with individual needs and the wider uncertainty that the ongoing pandemic presents.
The toll on peoples’ mental health during lockdown periods across the world is largely unknown at the moment. Employers need to ensure that they have resources (and people) who are on-hand to help with questions and concerns as people start getting back on public transport and getting back to work.
Some relevant resources that may be of interest can be found here.
In many cases communication levels have increased over the past months. The use of technology in the form of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts and the like has been positive.
It’s essential that this communication is maintained as people return to the workplace. We simply can’t go back to ‘normal’ as employees now expect higher levels of transparency and communication than they did prior to lockdown. Make sure that you outline the how, what, where and when and stick to it.
With a likely more flexible workforce in terms of time and place companies are going to need to make sure that inclusivity of access to leadership and equality in communication is high on the agenda.
Be empathetic - what is it that people need to know?
Do you need different messaging for your employees – both those coming back to the physical workspace and those who may be remaining at home?
Do you need to communicate what you’re doing with customers? What about your suppliers and investors?
The office and technology
Most companies would have carried out the necessary risk assessments in relation to getting back to the office, but the reality is that the workplace is not going to resemble what it did pre-Covid.
If you’re a business that traditionally collaborates together and utilises meeting rooms then you need to plan ahead. Do you forgo the room and stick to ‘virtual’ meetings even if you’re in the same office? Do you need to remove chairs from boardrooms? How can technology play a role in this?
We’ve just picked out three areas here that you need to be thinking about as a business and at Franklin Fitch we have started to see people come back into the office if they feel it’s safe to do so. If you want to find out how we’re doing it then please just drop us a message.
Equally, if you’re doing something that you think is unique in terms of returning then we’d love to hear about it.
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