Depending on where you live, you may be beginning to reach the end of the era where everyone is working from home. Even if it is a long way off yet, you are probably looking forward to the day when everything can get back to normal and everyone can return to the office and get back to business as usual. There are some ways to prepare for the day, even if it has not arrived just yet.
If you have had your employees working from home, you may have decided to allow them to take home some office equipment. Offices everywhere allowed people to take home supplies such as computer monitors, office chairs, and laptops in order to facilitate working from home, especially for employees who did not work from home before and had no proper home office.
While this move allowed many people to continue working who would not have been able to, if your office chose to do this, it means that you will have to account for all of that equipment. Some of it may need to be reinstalled into their workstation upon their return, before they can begin working from their normal location again. If you need to stagger arrivals in order to give IT the time they need to get every workstation back up and running, consider doing so.
The world has certainly changed due to social distancing and quarantine policies, and this may change how your office operates once it reopens. Each state and in some cases, individual cities, have the ability to create their own policies. As a result, some areas may require offices that reopen to do so with specific restrictions or changes in place.
For example, it is possible that you may have to continue to adhere to social distancing of at least six feet, which might mean that only some of your employees can come back to the office right away, or you might have to implement new sanitation or hygiene policies as required by the law in your location. Even if these are not required, they may be helpful for employee health and peace of mind.
Some offices may offer a blend of remote work and in-office. If this is the case, ensure you have documented plans for managing your remote workforce and successfully merging your entire team.
Plan ahead, and create any new policies or programs as necessary to accommodate the new normal.
By the time employees return to the office, there will probably be a lot to update them on. New office policies related to health and hygiene might have been implemented, new programs might be in place, and there might be updates to bonuses and incentives in response to lost revenue.
Documentation about any office changes should be provided to each and every returning employee, and if there are a lot, you may want to create a packet and have it waiting on each person’s desk. Even if they are receiving digital pay statements, it may also be wise to have a YTD paystub, YTD meaning year to date, included in the packet. This will allow the person to reorient themselves to the new normal, and check in with where they are at personally so far this year.
Once employees are back on site, try as much as possible to include old routines and habits into the daily life of the office to help everyone return to their jobs seamlessly.
Make sure their computer and workstation are ready for their return, or that someone is on standby to help them get their computers and phones back up and running.
Make any changes that are needed, either to meet new legal requirements, or simply to go the extra mile in protecting yourself and your workers.
Once you make changes, make sure that policy documents are updated and provided to your employees to keep them informed. They should also receive personal financial statements and updates about your organization that will help them to set goals and get themselves on the right track for returning to a healthy and productive work environment.