What NOT to Do When Returning to the Workplace

Recently, information on how to return to the office safely, including social distancing methods and solutions for disinfecting your office has been covered. But what about what not to do when your employees go back to work?

1. Do NOT give up real estate. 

While it might seem like the best way to make money, selling, renting, or leasing some (or all) of your office space will only temporarily help your cash flow. Businesses need to be thinking of long-term solutions that will set them up for future success. 

Instead of contemplating how your organization can downsize, think of practical ways to outfit your real estate with safety in mind. Adding things such as sneeze guards, privacy panels, moveable desks, and height-adjustable furniture can maximize your current layout for a new way of working. 

But there are also low-cost solutions that can make your space work for you, not against you. More companies are understanding the importance of remote work, which may or may not be advantageous for your specific industry. Others intend to implement staggered work schedules when their offices reopen, where only a certain number of employees are working in the office at one time. 

>> Incorporate protective screens into your existing furniture for an efficient, cost-effective solution.

2. Do NOT stop communicating. 

Most likely your entire staff has been working from home for the past several months while your office was out of commission. And most likely you’ve had improved communication with those staff members. This shouldn’t change just because you’re heading back into the workplace. 

Things like scheduling more frequent one-on-one meetings, continuing whatever virtual chat platform you were using while telecommuting, and developing a re-orientation to the workplace are a few ways to keep communication flowing. When it comes to the physical workspace, touchdown spaces and team meetings should still be a priority but conducted with safety in mind.

3. Do NOT do this alone.

Talk with your employees and assess their comfortability with returning to the office. Some might not want to come back right away, others might not even need to. Take each individual into account. Ask whether they would feel safer with social distancing furniture outfitted for their personal workspace. Brainstorm ideas for returning to a safe and healthy workplace with your entire team, not just yourself or the executives. 

This is a puzzling and extraordinary time. Returning to the office will undoubtedly be a confusing process. With a comprehensive and thoughtful plan created by your employees, your organization will be more able to return to work with confidence and the knowledge that their employer cares about their wellbeing.

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