The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses in every industry around the country. Many businesses have had to completely rethink their approach to how they conduct business, leaving many business owners facing new challenges. While the business landscape still looks uncertain, many business owners are already looking at how they can make the return to the office safely post-COVID so they can take steps towards ‘business as usual’.
Making the transition back to working in the office might be challenging at first. However, with the right approach and plenty of clear communication with your team, you can ensure that your return is as seamless as possible. Tools like Deputy’s time clock app that you might have been using to monitor employees’ work hours while they worked remotely can continue to be used in the same way. So too can accounting software, payroll systems and any other cloud-based systems you have in place. Returning to the office might seem daunting but with so much of your business easily transferable, your main concern should be keeping your team and your customers safe and protected.
Let’s take a look at how you can safely make the return to the office post-COVID.
Determine Your Needs
Depending on the industry you are in, you may not need your entire workforce to work from your business premises. If some of your staff can work from home, it might be wise to allow them to continue to do so. Determine who needs to be in the office and make the most out of the space that you have to accommodate those employees. You may need to structure your office differently to provide sufficient space between employees, make room for sanitising stations, or the installation of screens. These safety measures, while crucial in keeping your team and customers protected, will minimise the office space you have for your employees so you will need to determine your in-office staffing needs carefully.
Prepare Policies And Procedures
Not all of your employees might be prepared for returning to the office and some may even be nervous or apprehensive at the thoughts of coming back. To prepare your team, it’s crucial that you communicate clearly with them throughout the process. You will need to put new policies and procedures in place to keep your team and your customers safe. Share these with your staff so that they know what to expect when they get to the office. Keeping everyone informed as to the changes in the office will help to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible.
Get The Office Ready
Before your employee can safely return to work, you might need to make some changes to your office space. It is important to consider the main touchpoints throughout the space and to clean these after every use. Entry to the building restroom and changing facilities will all need to be inspected and monitored closely. In addition, although the link between the spread of the virus and HVAC systems is still being investigated, it is thought there could be a strong link between the two. To ensure you and your team can work in a comfortable environment, you may need to update your HVAC system before your return to the office to include antimicrobial filters, UV lights for return air openings and bi-polar ionization to filter virus particles.
Plan For A Safe Return To The Office Post-COVID
During these difficult times, it’s important that you do everything you can to keep your employees and your customers safe. If you are planning your return to the office, be sure to consider the needs of your business, your office layout and design and be sure to put the right procedures and policies in place ahead of time. Keep your staff informed and up-to-date throughout the process and prepare your team for a safe return to the office post-COVID.