Transitioning back to office from WFH

22 September 2020
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As we start to return to work, there is a lot to think about. Lockdown has affected us all in different ways, and it is only normal to feel uncertain about what the future holds.

Many people feel confused, worried and apprehensive about going back to the workplace. Organizations will be considering a range of adjustments to the way work is done, to comply with government recommendations

Here are a few strategies to further ease the transition from work from home to regular office :

Maintain Remote Working

Until you have a plan in force that you are able to execute fully, it’s best to have your employees continue working remotely. You should also keep in mind if it makes more financial sense to maintain some remote workers as you plan to transition back. If this is the case, this is a great opportunity to shift some of your internal business operations.

Consider How You Will Implement Social Distancing in the Workplace

Even if your office gets the green light to open its doors to employees and customers, you may still need to implement social distancing. If this will be difficult due to the size of your office space and the number of employees you have, you may need to consider different options.

If you have enough space to welcome back all of your employees, this is a good time to consider the layout of your office. Moving desks to allow for employees to remain six-feet apart will reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

If you do not have enough space, you may need to consider creating phases for introducing employees back into the workplace. This begins with identifying your essential employees and determining if and how long you want to wait between phases.

Allowing customers back into the office

Another consideration to keep in mind is when you want to allow customers or clients back into your office. While virtual meetings have been the alternative for months now, many businesses rely on face-to-face interactions with customers. For this reason, this needs to be a part of your re-entry plan, which should include how many customers you’ll allow in your building at once and how you will maintain social distancing.

Implement Cleaning Regimens

Implementing a cleaning and sanitizing regimen for your office and facilities is a necessary step for opening your workplace to employees. This will vary depending on the type of business you operate. Some things to keep in mind are encouraging employees not to share phones, pens or other supplies unless absolutely necessary, sanitizing any shared equipment, encouraging employees to reduce the number of people in shared areas like breakrooms, washing their hands often and placing hand sanitizer throughout the office for use by employees and guests.

Encourage Good Hygiene

Have a discussion with your team about the importance of washing their hands, using hand sanitizer, staying home if they feel unwell, and how to recognize COVID-19 symptoms. Hanging posters around the office that reinforce these expectations is ideal as well. You can make it easier for your employees by providing them with what they need to follow these health guidelines. This includes having the following items on hand:

•  Disinfectant wipes and/or spray
•  Hand sanitizer
•  Hand soap
•  Paper towels
•  Tissues
•  Face masks

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