If you’re looking to re-open the office now that restrictions are no longer in place, it is important to remember that not everyone is ready to let go of all the rules that have dominated for the past 18 months. That means office managers do have a little work to do if they want their staff to return to the office at least part-time.
A lot of companies have taken the decision to allow remote working full time, so the return to the office isn’t needed. That said, there are some industries that work much better when everyone is under the same roof, so you’ll need to think carefully about the needs of your business before making any rash decisions.
So, what can be done if you do need to re-open the office?
Well, despite the rules saying masks and social distancing are out of the window, it’s still a good idea to provide staff with the right tools and space to feel comfortable re-entering the workplace.
In this post, we’ll highlight four essentials you will need to reopen the office.
When returning to the office, there should be an abundance of hand sanitiser available for staff. Whether that’s dispensers around the space or individual bottles for each person’s desk. To avoid too much cross-contamination, make sure you have the right-hand sanitiser and dispenser so that staff don’t need to touch the bottle. Alternatively, make sure to clean the sanitiser bottles frequently.
Lateral flow tests
Lateral flow tests are readily available for free at chemists, GPs, and sometimes even in the street. Packs typically come in sets of 7 so that those returning to work can be tested frequently. This is a great idea for anyone who is feeling a little uncomfortable about heading back to the office to mingle with a variety of households.
Creating a policy where everyone should take a test a few times a week will give staff peace of mind when returning to the office.
Work from home policy
As mentioned above, not everyone is ready to return. A lot of people have even found themselves to be more productive at home and able to manage their work-life balance much easier.
On the other hand, there will be people welcoming the return, and keen to get back into their standard routine and ready to socialise with their workmates.
The return to work should be at each person’s individual pace, meaning you may need to incorporate a work from home policy – even if it is just temporary. After a few months, change the policy to require people to come into the office at least once a week. You may implement a flexible working pattern where people can choose to work from home or the office, with hot-desking available for office workers.
Finally, while everyone tries to navigate this new normal, it’s important to fully communicate at all times. Everyone should be in the loop about new policies and requirements for returning to the office, while staff who don’t feel ready yet should feel comfortable enough to reach out and explain.
With time and understanding, your office will be back to its own ‘normal’ in no time.