How to Ensure a Safe Post-Covid Return

Covid Return Office

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is waning, many employees are eager to return to the office. However, it is important to take some precautions before returning to work. In this article, we will discuss how to assure a safe post-COVID 19 return to the office.

 

Consider that productivity can be different for different roles and people

Not everyone will be productive immediately when returning to the office. Management should consider that productivity can be different for different roles and people. Some workers may take a little longer to get back into the groove, while others may hit the ground running. It is important to be patient and understand that everyone is different, especially if there are people that are still recovering from things like long covid or some of the various lingering cognitive effects of the virus.

 

Communicate often about the return strategy

A lot of people appear to view the return to the office with a combination of nervousness and resentment. This is why it is important to communicate often about the return strategy.

Management should be upfront about expectations and what workers can expect. This will help to create a sense of trust and cooperation, which are two of the keys to a psychologically safe office.

 

Sanitize the office before returning

Workers should sanitize their work area before returning. This means taking the time to clean all surfaces, keyboards, phones, and anything else that may come into contact with hands or other body parts. Sanitizing wipes are a great way to accomplish this quickly and easily.

 

Provide specific time frames

In order for the return to be a success, leaders and management have to keep people in the loop with specific time frames and stick to them. This will help to avoid any confusion and allow for a smoother transition.

 

Let people work from home if they feel uncomfortable

Working from home is an option that should be made available to those who feel uncomfortable returning to the office. This will help to ease some of the tension and make people feel more comfortable. Management should keep in mind that not everyone will be able or willing to return to the office right away.

 

Avoid overcrowding

It is important to avoid overcrowding in the office. This means staggering arrival times, working from home, and other strategies as needed. Overcrowding can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress, which are counterproductive during this time.

 

Encourage social distancing in the office

Encouraging social distancing in the office is another way to help reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. This means avoiding close contact with others, keeping a safe distance from others, and washing hands regularly. Implementing these guidelines will help to create a safer work environment for everyone.

 

Include everyone in brainstorming and innovation

Including everyone in brainstorming and innovation sessions is a great way to get people excited about returning to the office. This will help to foster a sense of cooperation and teamwork. It is also a great way to get new ideas and solutions for moving forward. There will be conflicting ideas with respect to almost everything you are likely planning for the return, so bringing people into the fold is a great way to start mitigating that.

 

Give people time to adjust

The return to the office can be overwhelming for some workers. Management should give people time to adjust and get used to the new routine. This includes coming in later or leaving earlier if needed, taking breaks throughout the day, and other accommodations as needed. By giving people time to adjust, management can help create a more productive and positive work environment.

 

Celebrate milestones

Management should celebrate milestones as they are reached. This could be anything from returning to full operations to reaching a certain number of days without any new cases of COVID-19. A positive attitude can go a long way in creating a productive work environment.

 

Think about inclusivity and fairness

Inclusivity and fairness should be considered when making decisions about the return to the office. This means taking into account the needs of everyone in the workplace and trying to create an environment that is fair for everyone. By thinking about inclusivity and fairness, management can help to build a strong team that is united in its goals.

 

Stay positive

It is important for management to stay positive during this time. This will help to set the tone for the office and encourage workers to stay positive as well. A positive attitude can go a long way in creating a productive work environment.

 

Make flexibility a guiding principle

Flexibility should be a guiding principle during the return to the office. This means being willing to adapt as needed and making changes as needed. By being flexible, management can help create a more productive and positive work environment.

 

Don’t stop evaluating and, where necessary, updating plans

The return to the office is a fluid situation, and plans should be evaluated and updated as needed. This means being willing to change course if needed and making decisions based on the latest information. By staying flexible and evaluating plans regularly, management can help create a more productive work environment.

 

Reward workers for their efforts

Management should reward workers for their efforts. This could be anything from giving them time off to praising them for their hard work. By rewarding workers, management can help to create a positive work environment.

 

Conclusion

There are a number of things management can do to help ensure a safe and productive return to the office after COVID-19. By being patient, encouraging social distancing, including everyone in brainstorming and innovation sessions, giving people time to adjust, celebrating milestones, thinking about inclusivity and fairness, staying positive, and communicating frequently, management can help create a successful comeback for the office. Thank you for your time.