Returning to work? How to prepare for your return to the office

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a strange year! Covid-19 has meant most people have adapted to working from home-Zoom and Microsoft teams have come into their own (!), children have been schooled at home, and we have become used to the “new norm” of how the virus affects our day-to-day life.

However, this week we send our children back to school and a vast majority of people now have to contemplate the return to work.

Whilst some businesses have decided to allow some of their teams to work from home, inevitably businesses are feeling the need to return to the office, as whilst many have felt working from home has been successful and productive, having your teams in the office undoubtedly encourages team bonding and higher success of productivity.

So how are you preparing for your teams to come back to the office safely? Mode has devised some top tips to ensure that the return is Covid safe:

Planning is key

You need to plan your teams’ return to work so that they feel safe and secure, so you need to think about:

  • How do your teams travel to work? Make sure they are comfortable with their travel plans and that they feel safe.
  • What will be the procedure for entering the office building? Will you have temperature checks? Sanitising stations at the entry door? Will there be hand sanitiser around on desks or easily accessible places?
  • Are there any considerations to be made for your teams to get their jobs done effectively? Will you need to change seating arrangements? Add in glass Perspex? Less people in meetings for social distancing?

Make sure your line managers talk to their direct reports

It’s so important that your line managers talk to their team, so that everyone has the chance to raise concerns, and for expectations of priorities to be set. This allows for everyone’s concerns to be raised.

Take it one step at a time

Let’s be honest, we’ve been through so many changes in such a short space of time and this is unlikely to change. So therefore, be prepared for things to keep changing and make sure you are prepared to adapt and clearly inform your teams.

Keep monitoring, keep reviewing

Keep checking in with yourself, how is your business doing, how are your teams doing? Do they need more support? Do you need to review your processes? Keep a check on yourself!

And finally…. Talking is important

Talking and connecting is so important before your teams return to work but continue the conversation once they are returned to the office. Everyone’s situations are different, and we have all been affected by Covid in different ways to keep the lines of communications open.

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This post was written by Anwen Haynes1

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