It is obvious that the gradual return to the office will require a period of adjustment for many employees.
Employers will have to do everything they can to provide a safe working environment, and employees will have to calmly regain a taste for working away from home.
This return is far from impossible, but still requires good preparation.
The lifting of the lockdown and telecommuting
Step 1: Rearranging the workspace
The first thing to do when gradually returning to the office is to rearrange the workstations to ensure staff safety.
It is important to analyze the size of your office to determine the maximum number of employees that can be accommodated whilst taking into consideration physical distancing directives.
Do you want to alternate days in the office between employees?
An effective plan with a timetable or booking system will be needed!
See at the end of this article how Hector can help you with this process.
Step 2. Acquire protection items
You’ll need to think about all the things you need to do to limit the risk of contagion in the office.
The recommendations of the CNESST can help you to determine the items you need to purchase if you have not already done so.
Who will clean the workstations for the next day?
Hire a team to be responsible for cleaning up at the end of the day, or identify team members who will be responsible for doing so.
Step 3. Communicate with your employees
It is important to communicate with your employees. They need to know what measures are in place and what procedures to follow in the event of an outbreak.
If you have decided to operate with a job and equipment reservation system, they need to know how it works.
Some employees are not “fans” of the changes and it will certainly be a period of adjustment for all.
All the necessary measures must be taken for the wellbeing of employees and to ensure a positive working atmosphere.
Keep an open ear during the process!
A transition to full-time hybrid mode
You can also use this transition period as a test, to see if your employees would be interested in continuing to work under this new model.
How to prepare employees for the return to the office
It is the responsibility of the company or school staff to carry out a risk analysis and to draw up a clear plan on how to proceed when the premises are to be reopened.
Again, communication with employees is essential. Always keep them informed of the smallest details and changes.
This is the time to implement strict hygiene measures and to reorganize the workspace to promote the safety of employees or in the case of a school, students, even if some decide to opt for a hybrid model.
There should also be social activities to be maintained within the team even if the hybrid model is favoured.
As some people will only rarely come to the office, you need to be sure to keep the team spirit in place even from a distance.
The dynamics are different when all employees work from home, versus when some work from home and others from the office.
If employees are unfortunately affected by Covid-19, there should be an action plan in place to inform all staff and avoid pausing activities.
What are the steps to follow?
Who is responsible for ensuring that employees follow the procedures?
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