Is it finally time to return to the office?
Slowly but surely, Covid-19 restrictions are easing down across the world. After months of working from home, we’re all aching to go back to our office workspace.
However, as an employer or office manager, you have a responsibility to ensure your return to the office happens safely.
Employees going back to the office have a right to work comfortably, without having to fear infection or diseases. So how can we make sure our “return to the office” goes smoothly and safely?
We’ve got some tips! Let’s dig in.
1. Transparent communication is key
Now more than ever, providing up-to-date and transparent communication is crucial. Not only in order to inform your employees or members of evolutions at the office, but also to keep them posted on country-specific policies and regulations.
Make sure your employees know what your government allows, what is safe, and any other information on the subject as it’s released by your government. Make it easy for your community to follow along.
How about communication specific to the re-opening of your office workspace?
Online communication. Keep your employees posted on what you’re doing to ensure their safety. Not only will this motivate more employees to come back in, it will also help make those who are already back at the office feel safe. There are many platforms you can use, such as your newsletter, social media, your website, or other communication platforms.
Offline communication. With offline communication, we mean communication that is found physically at the office. These can be flyers, posters, digital screens, voice broadcasts, or anything else that can convey a message. Use these to communicate your safety policy, what to do when you feel sick, hygiene rules, or even something more comical to keep spirits lifted.
2. Keep your office cinderella clean
And with clean we mean spic and span. You’ll have to disinfect your desks, chairs, keyboards, computer mice, etc regularly. The cleaning crew will have to come over every day instead of every week. Also, make your employees aware that they have to disinfect their work supplies too. Distribute plenty of cleaning products to make cleaning up after yourself easier.
You’ll also want to provide hand sanitizers and wipe dispensers in every open space or room, so people can clean their hands anytime they want.
Communication again plays a key role in sensitizing your community. Hang up posters everywhere to remind employees about the rules of social distancing, mouth masks, and gloves.
Looking for more tips? Check out our mini-guide ‘A safe return to the flexible workspace’.
3. Maintain a lower occupancy rate
Aside from the measures we already summed up, social distancing is the number one way to maintain a safe workspace. Always keep a distance of 1,5 meters between each employee. That means: they can’t sit face-to-face or next to each other. Leave at least one seat in between or sit diagonally opposite.
To make social distancing easily manageable you can deploy maximum capacities for each location. If you work in a corporate environment, you can divide your staff into groups and let them come to work per unit. Other units can enjoy their home office.
Working from home doesn’t need to be hard. Take a look at our tips for efficient & structured meetings at home.
Tip: Choose a software with seat booker to manage your social distancing in an efficient way.
4. Transform your safe workspace into a flex desk spot
Enable your workforce to book their desk well in advance. Depending on how you want to structure your back-to-the-office strategy, desks can be booked for days on end or merely for a couple of hours.
In the aftermath of Covid-19, it’s important to keep our social distance. A task not always as easy for companies where people used to come in and sit wherever there was space, or for companies where people used to sit in close proximity to each other.
That’s why there are tools to get this done in a matter of a few clicks. Those tools are called ‘hotdesking’- or flex desks tools and they make your life incredibly easy.
Coincidentally, zapfloor can offer you that tool. Click the button beneath to read more about it!
5. Visitors and lunch(dates)
The fewer people we come in contact with, the better. This doesn’t mean you can’t receive any visitors or do essential work travel. But keep in mind that all the measures you have just read also apply to how you deal with visitors. Preferably, wear a mouth mask and sanitize your hands before you meet someone.
For team lunches, you can eat outside if there is enough space or eat in small groups inside. Ideally, you’d bring your own meal instead of ordering a sandwich or getting food elsewhere.
A message from team zapfloor
We hope you and your loved ones all stay healthy throughout this global crisis. Remember: we’re in this together, and we can do this ?