19 Mar Welcoming Employees Back to the Office
The end of the third lockdown is drawing nearer and employers across the country will soon start to welcome their employees back to the office.
Whether your company plans to bring back furloughed staff, introduce hybrid working, or re-establish a centralised office, there are ways to make the; “back to work” transition smoother.
Communication, at all levels.
Two-way communication is extremely important as we go back to the office. It is important to educate all staff, colleagues, and guests about safety in the office and keep everyone updated with developments.
Employees should also be encouraged to raise any concerns and voice suggestions. Having an open-door style policy will help to show that everyone is in this together.
If you are a resident in one of our serviced office suites, we’re here to help you. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help you transition back to work safely.
Back to the office: Social distancing.
It is difficult to know what the exact guidelines will be as we return to the office. Planning an environment that encourages social distancing wherever possible helps keep everyone safe.
Drawing up a plan helps to visualise what needs to be done in terms of social distancing. Here are a few points to consider:
- Will you increase your office space to allow for improved Social distancing?
- Will you adopt an employee rotation system or hybrid working?
- Do all employees have the same core working times?
- What is the optimal layout to ensure Social distancing?
- What will your meetings look like?
For more information, read the UK government guidelines around working safely in an office environment during COVID-19.
Mental health as we return to the office.
As you implement practical plans, it is important to remember mental health, too.
Many of us have not had much in-person contact either socially or professionally over the past year. Going back to the office is a big change for everyone and being mindful of individual situations will help employees feel supported.
The charity Mind offers advice for employers on mental health in the workplace. They say 56% of employers would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing, but they don’t have the right training or guidance. The charity offers educational courses and resources to help you take care of your staff.
Over the past year, rigid working environments have been overhauled, some degree of flexibility will be required especially during the initial period of return.
This could take the form of flexible working times. Some employees might need to take emergency childcare into account (for example if school tells them to isolate).
Ask yourself, could hybrid working work for you and your employees? Combining work-from-home options with office working reduces capacity, while giving staff some level of flexibility.
The office will remain as the main hub for work especially when it comes to collaboration, creativity and energy. However for many businesses the past year has also shown many organisations and leaders that staff in certain areas of the business are able to perform even when they are not always in the office.
Consulting staff members will reveal additional factors to take into consideration. For example, team members travelling to the office on public transport might wish to avoid overcrowded commuter trains. A solution could be adjusting working times.
An inviting office.
Here at The Brentano Suite, we aim to offer the best office experience possible. We’ve spent a great deal of time investing in social distancing measures and increased cleaning regimes, aimed at providing a safe environment for everyone based in our centres. We look forward to welcoming our tenants back as and when they choose to do so.
Our centre managers and their teams are on hand to help wherever possible. If we can be of any assistance as your team returns to the office, please let us know.
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