For many companies of all sizes, the time to ask employees to return to their normal offices for work is close at hand — if it hasn't already arrived. With tens of millions of adults now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, in-person work is once again relatively safe and certainly feasible. However, businesses still have to be careful about their return-to-work plans, avoiding the urge to dive in headfirst.
When you're taking this step in the next few months, the following tips will serve you well:
1) Communicate everything
As with anything else in the world of business, you need to ensure all your employees are on the same page with your return to the office, according to Proofhub. Ensure you are clear about what's expected, when and how each person or team needs to return and so on.
2) Be flexible
At the same time as you are coming back — and you may be enthusiastic about doing so — you also have to recognize that not all employees are going to feel comfortable returning to a pre-pandemic 9-to-5 after more than a year of being stuck at home, Proofhub added. For those employees who aren't quite "there" yet, give them the option to keep working from home, or at least a half-on/half-off schedule where they only come into the office for important meetings or projects.
3) Keep in mind that not everyone needs to be back
There are certainly some employees whom you may find are absolutely vital for in-person work, but that won't apply to everyone, according to the Forbes Business Council. For those who can keep doing their work remotely until coroanvirus numbers come down, it might be better to err on the side of caution. You likely don't have to work at 100% on-site capacity right away, even if you allowed to by local or state law.
4) Change the layout
If you're not bringing back all your workers at once (or even if you are), it's a good idea to rearrange your office furniture so that there's a little more distance between everyone, the Forbes Business Council recommended. A little more social distancing can go a long way toward helping people feel comfortable and minimizing risk.
5) Have a re-exit plan
Even if cases are becoming less of an issue nationwide, that doesn't mean you can operate as though there's no risk at all, according to Fortune Magazine. In some rare cases, you may experience a relatively small outbreak after returning to in-person work, and you need to have a plan to make sure everyone can revert back to previous work-from-home standards quickly and easily.
Of course, managing all of the above issues will take careful planning and coordination across departments, including with human resources professionals. At YES Partners, we can help you find the best possible leaders to guide you through this transitional period. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
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