The past year has been nothing short of transformative for many businesses. Few companies had a disaster plan in place that focused on dealing with a deadly pandemic, but many probably do now. 

As a majority of workers were forced to “go remote” with little notice, businesses had to make quick adjustments. It’s been a learning experience for many organizations, and some companies are ready to bring workers back to the office now that a vaccine is available. If you are thinking about making this move, here are few mistakes to avoid when reopening your office space. 

1. Having No Comprehensive or Coherent Policies for COVID-19 Safety

This should be obvious, but too many companies are reopening their offices with a “business as usual” approach. Unfortunately, the pandemic isn’t over, and cases are even rising in some places. 

If you’re planning on reopening your office space, it’s vital that you have some stringent protocols in place that keep your employees and customers safe. The CDC continues to update its guidelines but recommends: 

  • Updating sick leave so that employees feel supported to take time off if they are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed; 
  • Encouraging social distancing at work and other safety practices like frequent hand-washing; and
  • Considering other safe office improvements, such as better ventilation, touch-free devices, and routine cleaning. 

2. Not Being Flexible With Your Staff

Managers might be surprised to learn that many employees are not anxious to return to the office after a year of working at home. Remote work offers a level of flexibility that is tough to match with in-person work. Further, it’s become clear that a majority of jobs CAN be accomplished from home, and not everyone is comfortable returning to work just yet. 

Companies can be sensitive to this by being more flexible with their employees. Perhaps offer flexible office hours, allowing staff to choose their start times within reason. Another option is to allow employees to work from home one or two days per week. 

3. Not Showing Support or Gratitude Towards Your Staff

Businesses need to remember that, like themselves, their employees have had a tough year. While working from home has had some benefits, there were likely a few challenges as well. And returning to the office is going to be stressful for a lot of workers. 

The pandemic has put tremendous strain on parents and relationships, and some people have even lost loved ones. Treating re-opening your office as “business as usual” or even a celebration might be seen as a bit insensitive. Make sure you show enough support and gratitude towards your staff for everything they have been through over the past year. 

Looking for Quality Office Space in the Charleston, SC Area? 

Even if you’re ready to bring people back to work, do you have the office space you need? When the pandemic struck in 2020, many businesses decided not to renew leases or put off plans for expansion. Now things are different, and it may be time to revisit those decisions. 

At Caldwell Commercial Real Estate, we have over 80 years of combined experience helping our clients find the perfect office space in the Charleston area to fit their needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can do the same for you. reooe