(3 min. read)
No one can argue that it’s been a challenging several years for just about every commuter on the planet. With the pandemic in our rear-view mirror, it’s time to determine how best to get your staff back into the office while maintaining productivity and addressing employee concerns. Careful planning and consideration will ensure a smooth and safe process.
Following these 10 tips can help:
- Consider the type of company you have. Does productivity increase or decrease when the team is together? Different types of businesses have different needs. Creative businesses such as graphic design, publishing and marketing benefit from the team being able to spontaneously brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other. It’s challenging to recreate that spontaneity on a Google Meet or Zoom call.
- Review government and health guidelines and stay updated regarding COVID-19 safety measures. Follow the recommended protocols specific to your region. The Center for Disease Controls is the best place to find the most authoritative guidelines and protocol: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Contrary to the abrupt way most of us were required to leave the office, it’s important to develop a transition plan to get your employees back in. Create a comprehensive plan that outlines the steps, timeline, and protocols so your employees know what to expect. Consider factors such as office capacity, physical distancing requirements, cleaning and sanitization protocols, and employee preferences.
- Transparent, timely communication is crucial. Keep your staff informed about the plan, the rationale behind it, and any changes or updates. Address concerns and provide opportunities for feedback.
- Consider flexible options like hybrid work arrangements or staggered schedules to accommodate individual needs, if feasible. Another option is a phased approach that starts with a small number of employees and gradually expands over time.
- Implement safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Rearrange workspaces to maintain physical distancing, install protective barriers, provide hand sanitizers, and improve ventilation systems. Regularly clean and disinfect common areas and high-touch surfaces.
- Review and update relevant policies and procedures to align with the post-pandemic workplace. Your employee handbook should already include policies on remote work, sick leave, travel, and visitor management. Update the policies if that is required. Clearly communicate any changes to employees.
- Offer training sessions or resources to educate employees about new protocols, such as proper hand hygiene, mask usage, and physical distancing. These training sessions should not be mandatory. Provide guidelines on how to navigate shared spaces, such as conference rooms and break areas, while maintaining safety.
- Recognize that the transition back to the office may be stressful for some employees. Consider providing resources or support for mental health and well-being, such as counseling services or workshops.
- Continuously monitor the situation and adapt your plans as necessary. Stay informed about any updates or changes in health guidelines or the local COVID-19 situation. Be prepared to adjust your approach based on feedback and lessons learned.
Every situation will be different for every company. From my perspective, having spent my career in the publishing industry, there is no replacement for the productivity that is generated in a face-to-face environment. Ironically, I work full-time from home, since GLM is based in a state other than the one in which I live.
GLM may not be able to assist you with transitioning your staff back into the office, but we can serve as an asset and a proven go-to partner for all your marketing, social media, custom publishing, revenue generation and consulting needs. For more than four decades, GLM has continued to support, guide and continually improve the standard for our clients. Our hands-on customer care approach and impeccable reputation have allowed us to maintain relationships that span decades.
Give us a call today to see how we can help you – (844) GLM-2456 or visit us at www.glminc.stagingdevs.com