It’s Time To Re-Open Your Office After Covid
With the first round of a Covid vaccine in distribution across the United States companies are preparing for employees to return to work in a full re-opening of offices. While a return to normalcy is what we are all hoping for, there are pre-defined health and safety protocols, office layout adjustments and unique circumstances to consider. There is also the emotional element as employees walk through the door, many for the first time in a year. Here are five steps to make your reopening a success:
Communicate your reopening date well in advance
Change is often accompanied by anxiety. Your employees have handled the challenges of remote communication with co-workers, productivity challenges, distance learning support, and more. Now, they have to switch to a commute, office hours, distance learning support, and working in close proximity to other employees. Providing ample time for your employees to prepare for the transition will greatly aid in their ability to return to the office and be productive.
Make health and safety a priority
Share your health and safety protocols in advance and enforce them when the office re-opens. Share your office cleaning schedule, encourage employees to bring their own beverages and lunch coolers, and provide hand sanitizer throughout the office. If budget permits, purchase branded sanitizer or face masks for staff to wear! We’ve all gone to work with a cough or cold. With tensions high, inform employees they need to take a sick day or work remotely and provide helpful health posters around the office.
Say thank you
The fact is that until things are “normal” they’re not. Parents still have to manage their work and help with distance learning and individuals may be reluctant to be in the office due to health conditions. Others may have lost friends or family members due to Covid or other causes. Let your employees know how much you appreciate their effort to be in the office.
It’s likely that some of your staff will still need time out of the office to manage their other responsibilities. A little flexibility with office hours can mean a lot to your employee. Arriving a bit later in the day or leaving early on occasion, or even a work-from-home day will be greatly appreciated by the employee and may even act as a retention strategy.
(Re)Build your culture!
It’s an exciting time for everyone. Why not literally roll out a red carpet on the first day of reopening and have management greeting staff as they walk in? Capture the moment and add it to your company’s photo archives. If you’re not looking forward to in-person meetings, change the format by limiting time, requiring an agenda and setting goals for each meeting before gathering in a room. Ask your staff to take advantage of your company’s intranet, LinkedIn platform, or just use email to show your appreciation for employees who represent your organization and its culture properly. Ask your staff for their ideas as well!
Each company will have its own back to work strategy. What’s most important is that your employees know how much you value and support them during this transition back to the office. If you’re looking to add some staff on a contract or permanent basis reach out to us! Delphi-US offers end-to-end recruiting and placement services. Learn more at www.delphi-us.com.