Many people moved to a partially or almost completely work-from-home structure during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with vaccinations continuing and over 70% of the American public at least partially vaccinated, many companies are reassessing, trying to figure out how to move back to a traditional office setup. Here are five things to think about as you try to move your employees back to an office setup.
1. Consult Local Public Health Guidelines
Obviously, it’s important to consult public health guidelines locally to determine whether an office setup is safe. Some areas may have higher risk factors, including lower levels of vaccination and higher levels of infection. Your local public health experts can give you specific tips to return to the office as safely as possible.
2. Take a Survey About Returning to the Office
If your work-from-home setup is effective and your employees really enjoy it, you might not want to move back to the traditional office setup at all. Create a survey to ask employees how they feel about remote work, including ways they might want to improve day-to-day communication and connections, and ask how many of them are interested in going back to office work.
3. Determine How Many People You Really Need in the Office
The first, ideal step would be integrating room occupancy sensors to keep the office a safe space for everyone and based on the real-time data, make the appropriate adjustments. Some businesses may need very few in-office employees, while some may need significantly more. A salon business that provides haircuts and hair styling will not be able to adopt a fully remote workplace, while a technology company may be able to have employees largely working from home. Work with your human resources department to see what you need for a functioning office.
4. Consider Reducing the Office Space You Rent
If your employees largely prefer working remotely and your remote work options end up being the prominent method of working for your company, you might not need as much office real estate. Reducing the amount of space you rent can be extremely beneficial for your bottom line, especially if you’re planning to operate at a significantly reduced capacity.
5. Find Ways to Encourage Workers to Return to the Office of Their Own Volition
Your best path to moving away from a work-from-home structure is to make your employees excited to come back to the office. If they feel resentful that they’re moving away from work-from-home, productivity will likely decrease. Flexibility is helpful here, as is allowing employees to opt into in-office work so that the people most excited about returning can be the first ones to do so.
If your employees are currently working from home, you need a way to make the transition back to the office easy and smooth. These five points may not completely remove all the issues that can be part of this process, but they’re definitely an effective way to avoid the most dramatic pitfalls. With these five tips, you can smoothly move your employees back to whatever work structure will be the best for your company.