While the threat of coronavirus remains, the vaccine roll-out and decrease in cases means we can start to look to the future, and that means bringing your employees back into the workplace.
The new normal could look very different to how things were before, and it’s important to ensure your employees feel safe and supportive when things start opening up again. Putting your employees first will be your top priority to make the process smooth and stress-free for all.
Prepare your business to welcome employees back to the office with the following ideas;
Let them work flexibly
Flexible working has been a lifeline for many businesses during the pandemic. Being able to work from home has meant employees can keep going, and for many businesses, it’s been a success.
Hybrid working is something to consider to help your teams ease back in once lockdowns are over. Some employees may wish to keep working from home, others might want to return the office permanently, while others might want to enjoy a mix of the two. Giving your employees the choice and the tools to work flexibly can help them and your business thrive in the future.
Ease them back into the swing of office life
Re-adjusting to office life is not going to be easy. Social distancing is likely to remain in place, and your office might not be as sociable as it was. Change can be daunting, but easing your employees in will make a big difference.
Discuss the process with them, so they understand what to expect, and what resources are available. Some branded merchandise such as bottles or coffee cups can make a nice ‘welcome back’ gift, while also helping to keep your office safer. These types of products can also help you limit the use of single-use plastics, helping your office become greener too.
Keep communications clear and regular
Regular communication is essential for your employees, especially if policies could change at short notice. If you have staff working at home and others in the office, you’ll need to continue to find ways to engage all employees, regardless of their location. Regular meetings and communication around key decisions can help employees feel more informed, helping to eliminate confusion they might have at this time.
Remember to check in with your employees
The past year has been an uncertain time for everyone, and things won’t feel normal for some time. Checking in with your employees can help them feel supported, while also making sure key issues are raised at an early stage. Your aim should be to make the job easier for employees right now to help them adjust to different ways of working and a different work environment after what’s been a tough year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a lot of lessons for businesses, with more still to come as the world opens up again. Making the transition back to office life should be smooth and simple for your employees, so make sure you have a strategy in place that can help make this a successful process for your business.