Tips for helping employees return to the workplace
On June 21st, the final lockdown restrictions will be lifted, and with that, people who have been working from home or furloughed will be returning to work. If that's the same for your staff, you should have started preparing. Whether you're ready or not, here are some things you need to consider.
Give staff time to prepare. If your team have been working from home or furloughed for a long time, you will need to give them as much notice as possible. From arranging childcare to buying travel tickets, telling staff at short notice means, they may have a negative experience. Where you can, try giving the team two weeks' notice. This means they can get used to the idea, and it gives you time to make the necessary changes in the office.
Let your team know about any changes to their workplace. What have social distancing measures does the office have? Has the seating plan changed? Have certain members of staff left the business?
For those that have been furloughed since the start of the pandemic, many things will have changed, and it's essential to tell the team before they come back into the office. Set up a call on Microsoft Teams to talk about the office rather than just sending an email. Doing this opens a forum for questions and will allow people to feel more prepared.
Don't forget to speak to those who are anxious. Whilst some people will be excited about returning to the office environment, naturally, there will be some who are anxious. To alleviate their worries, arrange a separate call (let them choose whether it's over the phone or using something like Microsoft Team) and talk through what makes them anxious.
On their first day back, meet with them in the morning to find out how they are feeling, and if necessary, meet with them at the end of the day to see how their day has gone.
Make sure you have the right technology in place. There's nothing worse than coming into work to find you don't have the right equipment on your desk and having to spend the first hour trying to find a phone or a specific cable. When it comes to technology, make sure:
Each workstation is fully set up
Your collaboration tools are still in place to help with social distancing
Workstations are 'plug and play' so people that are splitting time between home and office can get to work quickly
You introduce voice-activated or gesture activated technology to help minimise the spread of germs
Any technology that needs upgrading is done so before staff are back in the office to minimise downtime
If you are planning for staff to return to the office and need help when getting hardware and software ready, please get in touch using the form below.