After nearly four months of working from home, some of your staff are probably ready to return to the office. But, just re-opening your doors and declaring “business as usual” isn’t going to work in this environment.
COVID-19 remains a serious health threat to much of the nation, but the economic dangers are just as real. Businesses that remain closed too long risk never re-opening their doors, so some must find some middle ground.
With no vaccine on the near horizon, organizations need a solid plan to remain profitable and keep their employees safe from the virus. If you’re planning to return to the office in any capacity, here are some tips for managing the transition.
Only Bring Back the Staff You Need
According to a recent research report by Forrester, the COVID-19 pandemic is the event that remote work has been waiting for. The people who have been advocating for teleworking arrangements for years have finally had the chance to prove their worth, even though it’s been under less than ideal conditions.
But, business leaders should closely evaluate the effectiveness of remote work across departments and various roles. Specifically, some jobs may be better off staying remote either temporarily or permanently as your organization eases back into the office.
Set Up New Rules for Your Office
How business is conducted has been turned on its head in 2020, and companies need to make radical changes to guidelines before re-opening physical spaces. For example, social distancing is a must in workspaces, meeting rooms, and communal spaces.
The CDC even recommends that businesses consider temperature screenings for employees before the start of each shift and sanitize office spaces frequently. Likewise, you may wish to consider limited personal contact with customers or screening and guidelines for them as well.
Create Digital Protocols
In addition to creating enough space in your office to prevent the spread of the virus, your business will need to worry about another type of infection. With so many employees working offsite, it’s vital that keep personal and business technology separate as much as possible. If you haven’t done so already, establish rules for the use of technology and carefully scan anything that comes back into the office before it is connected to your network.
Beef Up Your Communication
Even though employees will be returning to the office, the country isn’t out of the woods with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are understandably anxious, so keeping the lines of communication open is essential.
When it comes to normal operations, you can continue to use technology such as Zoom to stay in touch and keep a safe physical distance. This also allows remote workers to remain in the loop and participate with those who have returned to the office.
You might have some staff that can’t or won’t return to work for any number of reasons. When you prioritize the health and safety of your employees and customers over business results, you’ll gain and retain the trust you need to weather any storm.
Caldwell Commercial Real Estate in Charleston, SC, can help your business develop and implement its return to office strategy. From broker leases and sales to property management and landlord representation, our commercial realtors specialize in all aspects of commercial real estate. Contact us today to learn more about how our team’s solutions can help you achieve your vision.