It’s been months since your employees have set foot into the office. Due to the pandemic, they’ve either been working remotely or furloughed, but it’s time to start thinking about opening your doors again.
If your local area has given the okay to resume somewhat normal operations, you’re probably both eager to get back to work and a bit nervous about it. No doubt, your employees feel the same way. Use these suggestions to make people feel comfortable about coming back.
Clean the Office
Hire professionals to do a deep cleaning of your office. Even if no one has been in the building for months, knowing the space has been sanitized will ease people’s minds and make them feel better about returning. Let employees know exactly what measures were taken, so they can see you’re taking their safety seriously.
Promote Good Hygiene Practices
You’ve always wanted employees to practice good hygiene at work, but doing so has never been more important. Send an email reminding people about important health and safety behaviors to follow — i.e., washing their hands for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom, sneezing into a tissue, covering their mouth if they cough and maintaining a clean work area.
Take it a step further by creating posters with these guidelines and hanging them around your office.
Revise Company Policies
COVID-19 will likely cause you to change company policies on everything from meetings to paid sick days. For example, you might close the conference rooms until further notice and ask anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to work from home for two weeks. It’s important to put these measures in place now, so employees can feel safe when they return to the office.
Provide Protective Equipment
If possible, give your employees standard personal protective equipment needed to work safely during the pandemic — i.e., masks, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes. Some people would purchase these items and bring them into the office anyway, but you can’t rely on everyone to do so. Giving these tools to employees shows them you’re taking their safety seriously while making your office a more sanitary place.
Stagger In-Office Days
You can’t wait to have your entire team back together under one roof, but that might not be the safest move right now. If your office isn’t big enough to allow for easy social distancing, consider having people come into the office on different days.
You might assign certain teams to work on specific days or allow those who want to continue working exclusively from home to do so. Find a solution that works for your team and makes everyone feel comfortable.
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