As an employer during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have recently helped your team transition into a work-from-home situation. Chances are, your colleagues are now very well adjusted to their new work routine at home and acclimating to things that may have been new, such as video meetings and remote presentations. But now it’s time to think about the next step.
As states in the U.S. have started to reopen slowly, now may be a good time for you to plan a successful return to the office. At Copart, managers have been actively monitoring government guidelines. We have also begun warming employees up to the idea of going back to the office. Here are some things to consider for a safe return back to the office:
Different Return Times
Not everyone has to return to the office at the same time. Consider these questions before taking any action: Who has been struggling with technologies and equipment? Will allowing these workers to come back first help them complete their tasks more efficiently? It may be a smart idea to consider letting these employees return first. Besides allowing only essential workers in the office at the beginning, managers can also choose to have employees come to work in shifts or add a few employees back to the office at a time. Staggering your employee’s return will maximize safety and reduce health risks.
Be aware that some of your workers may have a unique or personal situation that makes them unable to come back to the office in the next few weeks. Some may have a higher health risk or have children to take care of at home. For whatever reason, if employees do not think they are ready to return, give them time, and let them know that they can come back when they feel the most comfortable and confident. Meanwhile, make sure to support these employees at home with appropriate work technology.
Office Cleanliness and Hygiene
Wiping down all office electronics and equipment before and after use should be the new standard practice. Be sure to have disinfecting cleaning supplies ready in the office. Additionally, officials have strongly encouraged employers to have a place for everyone in the office to wash their hands. Finally, send out an email or a video to explain to employees your new policies so they can follow the practices accordingly.
Making sure employees are protected while working in the office is essential. However, since self-protection utilities such as masks or sanitizers are hard to come by these days, many employees do not have enough supplies to bring with them to the office. Employers are then encouraged to contact vendors to ensure the vital supplies are available for employees to use in the office.
After considering the above, what’s your take on returning to the office? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.