As provinces and territories reopen for business, many companies are developing return-to-work plans that include the safest and smartest ways to bring their staff back. To help you protect your employees, we’ve put together five ideas, along with safety giveaways, that can make the transition easier.
1. Bring back staff in shifts
Even if you’re careful about maximizing social distancing and implementing safety procedures, bringing back your entire staff at once may present some challenges. Before calling everyone back to work, consider bringing in just the facilities and IT teams first, so they can clean and configure the office.
Once you have a better understanding of what your newly configured space will look like, work with managers and employees to determine how many staff members can return to the office permanently—and if they will need to work in shifts to keep everyone safe.
2. Communicate often and show empathy
For many staff members, coming back to the office may cause concern. Offer frequent opportunities for them to share those concerns and be sure address them as completely as you can. You may want to consider developing an internal task force that acts as a sounding board, addresses concerns, and keeps lines of communication open.
3. Set up new rules for interaction
- Create adequate distance between workspaces.
- Direct traffic to maintain social distancing and use signage to remind people to wash their hands frequently.
- Provide wellness giveaways, like face masks and hand sanitizer, for every employee.
- Consider performing temperature checks for those entering the building—and remember that the information needs to remain anonymous.
- Continue to hold meetings via programs like Microsoft® Teams or Zoom® to avoid putting people into crowded meeting rooms.
Taking the time to explain the new rules to everyone working in the office—and monitoring compliance—will help ensure safety measures are maintained.
4. Consider the health of your electronics
Understandably, the upkeep of computers and other devices may not have been a priority over the past few months. Remember to include health checks for tech in your return-to-work plan. Consider having your IT experts verify that computers and other devices are free from malware or other issues and have the most up-to-date software.
5. Keep structure for remote work in place
The process of coming back to the office is likely to be a long one. Maintaining flexibility and remote work access will be critical moving forward for staff who:
- Need to continue working from home to maintain the safety of someone in their family
- Have been exposed or show signs of possible infection and need to quarantine
There is also a possibility that safer-at-home measures may be put back into place in the future. Equipping everyone with a laptop bag and computer accessory case can make it easy to move their computer and essential documents from home to office and back again.
Navigate the new normal
As your employees return to work, they’re going to have questions and concerns—many of which you will share. By creating and maintaining a solid return-to-work plan and thinking about what’s best for your staff, you will be better prepared to keep employees safe.