Making A Return To The Workplace? Things You Need To Consider.


Posted by Derek Rodner - 07 May, 2020

As many states are considering reopening, businesses that have been disrupted by the pandemic are welcoming the move. However, before reintegration into office life can happen, businesses must plan properly as failure to do so can be very dangerous. 

While creating a plan for employees to return to the workplace, businesses should take into consideration certain things to ensure safety is maintained and resources are managed.

Reduce Workplace Capacity and Maintain Remote Working

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have been put in place as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to slow the spread of COVID-19. A large number of workers returning to a workplace where people are working closely together increases the risk of spreading and contracting the virus. When considering having employees return to the workplace, it is critical to manage the number of people in the office each day. Rotate a group of employees to work from the office every few days instead of allowing everyone to come back at the same time. This will help protect workplace health. 

Although regular workplaces are increasing in availability, businesses should maintain some form of remote working. Lockdowns may continue on a rolling basis for quite a while, especially in areas where the threat of COVID-19 is high. Whether organizations elect to keep employees working remotely or are forced to do so due to a staff member contracting the virus, disruptions may be minimized by having a workforce accustomed to working remotely. 

Reconfigure Physical Workspace

Despite the reopening of workplaces, the restrictions put in place during COVID-19 will not be entirely removed. Workplaces will still need to practice social distancing, reduce employee gatherings, and enforce proper hygiene practices. Businesses will need to reconfigure both individual and shared spaces in order to maintain distance between employees. Limiting the number of people in in-person meetings, maintaining a cleaning schedule for facilities, and mandating temperature checks and travel histories of visitors are some of the considerations that can be made when rethinking physical workplace.

Practice Regular Communication

Regular communication is imperative during this time to keep everyone well-informed. For employees returning to a physical workspace after spending some time away, it will be unnerving. The environment will be different than before and they may not even be working with the same co-workers. It is vital to acknowledge the needs of these workers and rebuild workplace morale. 
In order for information to be effectively communicated, the correct platforms for employee communication and collaboration must be readily available. Whether a business is returning to their physical workplace or not, a review of operations and infrastructure is essential to uncover any deficiencies.  Employee surveys and other two-way communication channels help capture what is being done well and what needs improvement, both in and outside of the office. 
Many businesses must return to physical workplaces in order to move forward. When developing a plan for transitioning back into the office life, these considerations will help ensure the return is valuable, not ineffective. 
At Agilence, we've been relatively lucky that our management team, especially those leaders in our IT organization, prepared us well in advance for the transition to remote work brought on by a disaster. While working remote has had its ups & downs, the change back to a "real-life" office environment brings on a whole slew of mixed emotions. We understand that this isn't just "an Agilence issue" and want our customers to know that we will be there for you as you transition back to whatever this next phase of work-life looks like. Please continue to be safe and reach out if you need us.

Topics: Blog

Posted by Derek Rodner

Derek M. Rodner is the VP of Product Strategy at Agilence . He has over 20 years of experience helping start-ups develop products and go-to-market strategies across multiple technologies including: open source software, databases, systems management, business intelligence and SaaS. Derek is married with 3 children and in his spare time he enjoys taking care of his 600 gallon live coral reef fish tank and playing Fortnite.

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