As we ease ourselves back into a normal way of working, there’s no denying that things have changed. The post-pandemic office life will be the same, but different.
The adaptations everyone implemented helped to keep the cogs turning through a turbulent and worrying time and things will be different for a while. Possibly forever. As the vaccine rolls out, we can look forward to a return to normal life and perhaps you’re considering returning to the office too.
A different perspective
The idea of ‘work’ and what it means has shifted. Depending on the sector, you may have struggled considerably through each lockdown or been busier than ever. As businesses move towards re-opening, it’s important to consider how perspective and priorities have changed. This is a great opportunity to be creative and learn from what’s happened. Be open with your employees. The best way to do this is to get people involved in the process, whilst being realistic and managing expectations.
- How are staff travelling to work?
- Do you have any ideas about how this could work better?
- Will an office rota system work?
- Who is comfortable returning to the office and who is not?
- How long will furlough last?
- Could you implement a phased return?
- Would anyone be open to flexible working or prefer to work from home?
If the idea of returning to work after working from home makes you feel anxious, speak to your employer. You may be able to come to an agreement that works for everyone, such as flexible working, a phased return, or coming into the office for a few days per week. Plans should centre around being flexible and focus on overall wellbeing and mental health. The transition should be steady and reviewed regularly.
Think about the logistics
Don’t rush back into the office and expect things to be the same. Can your office support social distancing? Are there multiple entrances? Do you share space with other businesses? It’s important to be realistic about what changes you can make and think about the logistics of your space and working style. Even small adaptations can make a big difference in keeping your team, customers, and business safe. Our management training courses will help you amplify your leadership skills so you are prepared for the transition back to the office and can tackle any challenges up ahead.
The legal bit
Offices need to adapt to continue functioning alongside COVID. There are legal requirements that businesses must follow to keep everyone safe. It’s important to keep up to date with government guidance when returning to the office as there are heavy fines from those who overstep the mark. Organisations such as ACAS have great guides available online, and advisors are available to discuss your options and responsibilities as an employer or employee.
How do you feel about welcoming your team back to the office? Hopefully, through collaboration and flexibility, we can all get back to enjoying a balanced work routine that fits in with the new normal.