Few of us were prepared for how drastically Covid-19 would impact our businesses this year. In January, few of us had even heard the terms “coronavirus” or “Covid-19”. By March, countries around the world were implementing social isolation and social distancing measures in order to slow the spread of the virus and protect as many people as possible. If your staff have been able to work from home during this time, chances are they’ve grown used to remote work and may feel reluctant to return to the office. You’re going to have to make sure that you’re fully prepared for their return when the pandemic begins to pass and things do start returning to normal. This is for the sake of protecting everyone as best possible and keeping the R rate of the virus down. Here are a few steps that you can take to achieve this.
Consider Phased Returns
If possible, you might want to consider phased returns to the workplace so that people can get used to working with the new measures in place without becoming overwhelmed. You may have half of the office back in on alternating days. You may also want to consider shorter working days starting at less usual hours, rather than subjecting your staff to commuting during busier hours in order to get into the office at 9 and return home from 5.
Redesign Your Workspaces
Your office’s previous layout may not be ideal in regards to the new social distancing measures. You may need to move desks further apart, consider alternatives to closed meeting rooms and maybe even install perspex shields between employees’ desks. You could also use Social Distancing Stickers in communal spaces, such as queues for toilets or the kitchen to ensure that everyone knows how far apart they should be from one another.
Invest in PPE
It may also be a good idea to invest in PPE for your employees – disposable face masks, latex gloves… even hand sanitiser. This will ensure that everyone is as clean as can be and spreads germs as little as possible.
Remember You Don’t Have To Return to Old Ways
If you’ve found that your staff are actually really productive when working remotely and that you haven’t faced any problems with remote work, you don’t necessarily have to return to in-office work. You could actually save a lot of money by not having to rent an office space and by sticking with remote work for the long term.
Of course, these are odd times for all of us and the return to work as usual may be pretty daunting for both you and your employees. But the above advice should help to ensure that you handle the process in the best way possible. Just make sure to always put your staff’s wellbeing at the top of your list of priorities and things should go well!