In collaboration with Adam Pepka
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on everybody, but the interruptions it’s caused in the workplace are going to take a while to fix. As an employer, it’s important to make things as easy as possible for employees returning to the office. If your company is about to return to the workplace, here are eight things to consider upon making the switch.
1. Go Over Procedures
You and your employees have spent a lot of time social distancing and working via Zoom meetings, so now is the perfect opportunity to go over procedures to make sure everyone is up to date. You can start your first day with a meeting with coffee and donuts while you explain the basics and introduce any new procedures.
2. Focus on Safety
In the aftermath of the pandemic, safety is incredibly important in the workplace. Not only is it important to keep a clean office for employees and make sure they’re not risking exposure to COVID-19, but it’s also important to rehash work safety tips that employees may have forgotten. You can get COVID-19 protocol posters and other signs to help remind everyone of what they need to be doing.
3. Remote Work Policies
While some companies are switching back to in-person work all the time, others are starting to adopt remote work policies in addition to that. If you’re going to allow employees to work remotely on a part-time basis, it’s important to talk to them about how that’s going to work and what rules they’ll need to follow.
4. Make Sure the HVAC Works
You don’t want your employees to be uncomfortable when they return to the office, so have an HVAC technician check out your heating and cooling system to make sure it works. If you’ve got a problem with your AC, you can install a 3 or 4 ton AC unit to keep the whole office cool. You and your employees will appreciate a new AC.
5. Talk About Policy Changes
Chances are things have changed since your office was occupied last, so take some time to explain any policy changes you may have made to your employees. Changes in dress code, workplace conduct, and schedules can throw employees off if you don’t let them know what’s going on.
6. Upgrade Sanitization
You need to keep your office clean, so find ways to step up your sanitization. You can hire a professional company to sanitize your office every once in a while, plus you can upgrade to better cleaners that you and your employees can use throughout the day. It’s also important to keep sufficient hand soap in the bathroom at all times.
7. Providing PPE
Even if you’re not required to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees, it’s a smart idea to do it anyway. If you have employees who might want to wear a mask at work at times, you can accommodate them by keeping disposable masks around the office. Your employees might even bring their own gear from home if they want to use it, but it’s still a nice way to keep employees happy.
8. Employee Illnesses
There was a time when employees could go to work with a cold without worrying, but that’s not the case anymore. If an employee gets sick, make sure you take the proper steps to ensure they’re not infected with COVID-19. Employees who do have coronavirus should receive paid vacation until they have satisfied the requirements to return to work. These policies are essential to keeping everybody healthy.
You have a lot on your plate as an employer returning to the office, but the experience is going to be good for everybody. It’s important that you communicate with employees to make sure you’re keeping them comfortable. As long as you follow this checklist, you should have a smooth return to the workplace.