We all want to go back to work, but our primary focus must be on keeping our staff members safe. What should we consider now to make that first day back a successful one?
As the Coronavirus lockdown begins to ease in the UK, many business leaders will be thinking about when they can reopen their workplaces. We all want life to return to normal, we want to start producing revenue again, and we want to see our colleagues in real life, not just on a video chat.
However, on that first day back, things cannot be the same as they always were. That is why you need to start making detailed plans now. In this article, we’ll look at how you can plan to get your office up and running, while protecting the health of your employees.
Start planning now
The Government have not given us a full return-to-work date yet. The advice remains that if you can work from home, you should. However, we can reasonably assume that in June or July, we might be allowed to reopen our workplaces, albeit with social distancing measures in place.
You should have an idea sketched out of how you would run your workplace if everyone had to stay 2 metres apart from each other. Get hold of your workplace floor plans and work out how it would be possible.
Would you be able to get everyone back to your workplace? If not, who do you need to bring back first? What rota could you implement to reduce numbers in the office at any one time?
Talk to your team
Challenges like returning to work after the lockdown are much more straightforward if everyone communicates clearly with each other. As a business leader, you have a responsibility to keep your team informed about the changes you need to make.
Share your thoughts with them and invite them to do the same. Try to take into account how they may be feeling about coming back to the workplace. Some may be worried about the health implications, while others will be more relaxed about it. Remember, you don’t always know what people are going through.
When you communicate about what you all want, need and expect, you build trust with each other. It’s this trust that will get you through this difficult time.
Most business will plan a phased return for staff. There are a number of controls you can put in place to effectively manage through this. Below are some tips on which will help managers keep control:
- Review resource needs every week and review furloughing plans fortnightly.
- Ensure staff have the equipment they need to work effectively.
- Ensure daily communication with all staff.
- Implement a new reporting procedure and structure – make it relevant.
- Weekly management meeting to review, activities, opportunities, and behaviours.
- Stay engaged with staff and regular checks on their welfare.
- Agree holidays to be taken so that you’re not swamped with holidays post lockdown.
- Focus on the positives and celebrate success however small.
- Have fun wherever possible!
Prepare for changes
As you plan for the big reopening, remember that the information you’re receiving about the Coronavirus and the lockdown is changing all the time. Advice on who can and can’t be near each other is changing quickly. This will have implications on how you organise your workplace once it’s open. You may need to change:
- Visitors coming to your workplace
- Meeting rooms
- Shift patterns
- Office layouts
- Maintenance and cleaning
And while you think you’ve got it in hand, one government announcement can change everything. You don’t know what the Government are going to ask for.
Even when the workplace is open, we will need to be vigilant of another spike in COVID-19 cases, which could lead to another lockdown. The best advice is to be cautious, patient and prepared for change. Remember, however much you want to be ramping up your output and revenue again, your priority needs to be the health of your employees.
Find out more from Joshua Robert
If you’re in the property industry and looking to build a relationship with a committed, forward-looking recruitment agency, talk to the Joshua Robert team on 0121 582 0877, or visit our site today.