With the opening up of workplaces many people are pushing for a return to the workplace. We have put together a list of things to consider doing before bringing people back to the workplace. This is by no means a definitive list, but it’s a great starting point for managers and employers.
1. Do an Employee Survey
Finding out what your employees actually want is the most important part of returning to work. Why not do a company-wide survey to find out how employees want to work going forward. This may influence your decision to bring everyone back into the office straight away or to move towards hybrid working instead.
2. Run Focus Groups
By running focus groups you can easily figure out what style of work is best for your employees and works well for the business. Focus groups are a great way of gathering information on the individual perspectives of your employees. Comparing the levels of productivity and employee satisfaction between different styles of work can help you assess what is best for everyone.
3. Consider a Trial Period
Decisions don’t necessarily need to be permanent. By putting a trial in place before any major changes, you’re giving yourself a period of time where growing pains can make themselves known. This lets you decide whether you want adjust and continue with what you’re doing, but it also gives the option of trying something completely different instead.
4. Update COVID-19 Risk Assessment
Consider what COVID-19 safety precautions are appropriate to carry on with, whilst also adhering to the government policies. Updating risk assessments and listening to the views of your employees is really important to diminish concerns and manage risks, particularly to those that may be clinically vulnerable. It will also demonstrate that employers are observing their duty of care, which will be fundamental to minimise legal and reputational risks.
5. Agree Consistent Lines of Communication
Make sure that everyone on the team has agreed on how they’ll be keeping in touch with each other. Keeping clear lines of communication between team members is important to ensure that everyone is staying on task. Check everyone is using the same video conferencing services and make sure everyone knows when and where to report, whether they’re working from home or in the office.
6. Make sure all new processes are well understood.
There’s no point in putting new policies in place when they have not been shared with all the employees. Make sure that if people are coming into the office, they know what COVID-19 precaution have been put in place and how to follow them. This is also the case for working from home. Check that your employees know when they need to touch base with the office, and even consider creating a shared calendar for hybrid workers, so people know whose going to be in the office on what day.
7. Take Staff Well-Being into account
Your employees may have been affected by the pandemic in a multitude of different ways. Burnout, illness, poor mental health, and social isolation are just a handful of issues brought on by COVID 19. Ensure employees are aware of any support you offer, such as OH referrals and employee assistance programmes.
Looking for more help with your return to the workplace? Check out our webinar “How to Navigate the Post Pandemic Return to the Workplace” for more information.
Need help putting Hybrid Working Policies in place? Want to make sure your COVID-19 safety precautions are up to scratch? Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org