5 Tips for Safely Re-Opening Your Office
As you may know, employees returning to the workplace requires careful planning and execution. A safe and successful Return to Office Plan prioritizes safety above all else and lays out clear expectations, protocols, and practices. Fully Managed has laid out the top 5 tips to help you create a safe back-to-workplan for your organization.
THE TOP 5 TIPS FOR SAFELY RE-OPENING YOUR OFFICE
1. Rethink your office’s physical set-up before asking employees to return to the workplace: This simple, but crucial, first step creates a safe, managed return process with a clear distancing plan and sanitation schedule.
- How can you change the workplace setup to ensure compliance with local guidelines?
- What do you need to change to ensure the health and safety of your employees?
- How can you leverage technology and automation to organize desk assignment and sanitation schedules?
- Designated walking paths
- Blocking off desks to adhere to social distancing guidelines
- Setting maximum occupancy for rooms
- Communicate these changes with the team in real time. If the employees know there are initiatives to protect them, they will be more confident to return to the office.
2. Host a COVID Boot Camp: The idea of this boot camp is to break down old patterns and introduce new ones. The easiest time to reset norms is when no one knows what normal is anymore.
- How will your company put employees at ease and respect different comfort levels?
- Feature your leadership team as facilitators. Leaders must stand in front of employees and demonstrate their sincerity and commitment to the new policies
- Make a moral case for changing behavior and outline the risks of non-compliance
- Assign a color-coded system, that allows people to see, rather than ask or assume, other employees social distancing comfort levels.
3. Maintain regular 2-way communication: Transitioning to new ways of working post-COVID will require clear communication and compassion to individual’s unique situations.
- What information do employees need to know?
- How are you capturing information on the physical as well as mental well-being of your employees?
- Proactively gauge employee readiness with frequent surveys
- Use a self- service portal or Virtual Agent to give employees answers 24x7
- Offer emotional support to employees and their families through virtual Wellness programs
4. Offer Shift assignment and flexibility
- What are the challenges your employees may have working standard hours (childcare, illness, personal fears)?
- What is your Leave Policy to accommodate unique circumstances presented by COVID?
- A phased approach to bringing the employees back
- Staggering start times
- Working rotations for in-office time
- Continuing with remote work for some employees
- Automating lifecycle events such as bringing back furloughed employees, onboarding and paid leave of absence.
5. Employee Health Screening: Screening employees before entering the workplace verifies compliance with your entry requirements.
- How will you collect and process all the data for every employee that is in-office daily?
- If an employee becomes ill, how will you trace potential contact in office?
- Automate your workflows and lean on technology to reduce your administrative burdens
Many organizations are working with the tools they have to prepare for the Return to Office. Email and Excel are inefficient when it comes to managing the complexity of today’s organizations. The old way doesn’t scale, and it doesn’t meet the needs of employees.
Make COVID-19 the catalyst for accelerating your digital transformation in the HR department. The success of your back-to-work plan will be critical to managing your organization in the future normal. What are you doing to prepare?
Join us for our webinar, How to Safely Re-Open your Office, and share your strategies for return.