For the last four-plus months, businesses have shifted from in-person meetings and lunch dates to remote Zoom conferences and lengthy and detailed email exchanges due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now, states and cities are beginning to reopen, providing businesses with the exact steps needed to keep employees and customers safe. Even the iSpace Office Interiors team is taking every precaution necessary to prevent the spread of the virus that had us confined to our homes and working remotely.
Still, life as we know it won’t ever be the same, and transitioning back to the office will likely come with its own set of challenges. But, just like we made the transition to working remotely and got used to dogs barking and kids giggling in the background, we’ll again get used to transitioning from our home office to our work office. Here are some steps you can take as an employer to prepare your staff for their return to work.
Test and Clean Unused Equipment and Bathrooms
Many of the facilities that were frequently used before the lockdown have been sitting idle for the past 12 weeks. Before your employees return to the office, make sure the workplace is ready for their return. Have the carpets cleaned; the phones, printers, and desktops sanitized; and flush and run the water in the bathrooms to prevent illnesses related to stagnant water.
After cleaning, make sure you test your equipment. Refill the paper trays, make sure printers and computers are up to date, and check on your back-up generator, just in case. All of these systems will be essential for making the transition from home to the office easier for your employees and less stressful for management in the days following their return. This course of action will also give you time to put in maintenance requests and get things fixed before any of your employees step foot back in the office.
Stagger Their Return
It may not be essential to bring everyone back all at once if you’re like many businesses reopening. To keep your employees healthy, safe, and sane during this transitional period, work with your management team to coordinate schedules and sequence the return of your staff. Start with teams from HR and leadership and then work your way down by department. Remember, this is not a race to get your employees back in the office before everyone else. Business may not resume as usual for a few months, and this transition needs to be slow to minimize risk.
As an extra precaution, if some of your team members have been functioning well from their remote positions, consider extending their option to work from home. Likely, their workload won’t shift or change much with the reopen, and they can continue to work efficiently from home.
Create Guidelines for Workplace Interactions
Before your employees come back to work, work with your management team to establish policies that will help minimize exposure and health risks in the workplace. Your employees are your number one priority, and without them your business doesn’t function. Follow CDC guidelines and suggestions and put up partitions between desks and at the breakroom table. You might also consider restricting the number of employees that can attend in-person meetings or gathering areas such as the lobby and kitchens.
Once your guidelines are in place, notify your employees of the new recommendations and policies before returning to the office. Knowing what to expect can be half the battle of transitioning back to the office after working from home, so informing your staff ahead of time can help eliminate anxiety and stress when they return.
Get All-In-One Service from iSpace
As you prepare for your employees to return, think about everything they need to be comfortable and productive. Transitioning back to the office after working from home won’t be easy or the same for everyone, but with the professional services and workstation arrangements from iSpace Office Interiors, you can make it easier for your teams. Find everything from cleaning and repairing services to new cubicle partitions on our website. Contact us today to see how we can help!