Many companies coped well with the pandemic, with many turning to various options that allowed for consistent output. A lot of employees turned to remote work, but that has its limits. Some businesses operate at lower productivity if they do not work out of their offices. For example, research companies have laboratories that their people don’t have at home.
Fortunately, the light is visible at the end of the long tunnel. But there is another challenge: getting people back into the office. There are various reasons why your employees might hesitate at coming back to the office, so here are some tips to help get your business back into high gear.
Deciding On The Office Return
The real question that you should answer is whether you should reopen the office. Evaluate your current operations and be honest about the results. If you are performing as well or even better before the pandemic, then you may not even need to reopen the office. Go fully virtual and cut down on your office expenses. Completely getting rid of it is not feasible, but reducing it to a place to meet with clients and as a central place to meet face-to-face with employees can be worth it. But if the performance reports reveal that office work is essential, then you need to start making the right moves.
Determine Who Can Come Back
If the decision is to get back into full office operation, then you’ll need to decide who can come back. Bringing everyone back instantly is a bad move. It is better for a progressive reintroduction to the office. Some of your people will still be working at home most of the time. But certain groups of employees should be clear to come back. To determine who can go to the office, it is much easier to identify who can’t. First, identify anyone who has underlying health issues. This includes overweight and older employees. If you are bringing anyone to work, they have to be in good health. Second, you should ask employees about personal issues that can make working at the office difficult like having children at home or lacking any easy transport. Simply asking your employees who are comfortable going to work can be an effective way to determine who your office staff can be.
Giving Some Perks
It would be best if you weren’t forcing your employees to work in the office. A lot of them will be hesitant to do so. A better approach will be to give them a few perks or make the experience much easier for them. For example, if the majority of your employees used public transport to get to work before the pandemic, that might not be an option nowadays. If you offer to give them a safe way to get to work like a clean shuttle service, then they might be willing to go. Additionally, extra perks like bonuses can encourage those who need the money to go back to the office. Just consider it like hazard pay.
Ensuring Maximum Safety
While you are getting the right amount of employees to open back up again, you should be making some changes to the office to make it safe. For example, you can choose to change the layout of the office. Instead of packed cubicles, you might consider having the workstations spaced out wider. Besides that, you can also implement smart health protocols to that the chances of infection. You can also hire a commercial office cleaning company to sanitize your office regularly. You might even consider requiring vaccinations for your staff as soon as possible, reaching out to reserve some of your people some slots on the local vaccination line.
Open Communication With Your People
Through all of this, you should be reaching out and communicating with your employees. Giving them an idea of what you are planning to do and what changes are happening can reassure them. You should also be clear about your expectations of them. Full transparency proves to them that you care about their opinions. For communication, regular company e-mails and a video message from you can be a big help. For more comprehensive info, scheduling a meeting or training session with them can be a big help. Constant updates also assure them that you are on top of things and know what you are doing.
Operating at sub-optimal levels is not sustainable for a business. Your company needs to get back into full operation, and you can only do that with your people doing their best and the offices open. Follow the tips above, and you can get things up and running fast.