Getting Your Office Ready After Lockdown: What You Need to Know

Getting Your Office Ready After Lockdown

The entire world has been affected by the pandemic, and many countries have decided to go into lockdown. The extent of these lockdowns has varied greatly depending on the country itself as well as how many Covid-19 cases there were in certain areas. Due to these lockdown restrictions, many businesses had to temporarily close their doors and have their employees work remotely. Of course, this was an adjustment for everyone. Now that some parts of the world are opening up, businesses are having their employees work from the office again. But things can’t go back to normal just yet. With offices that have been empty for months and employees that have gotten used to working from home, business owners need to get their offices ready to welcome back their employees after lockdown. If this is the position you are in, and you have no idea where to start, keep reading.

Clean the office . . . properly

Many offices haven’t been thoroughly cleaned during the lockdown. This is understandable – after all, why would a business choose to pay to have the office cleaned when no one will be using it? Some offices may have had a surface-level cleaning done now and then, just to make sure it doesn’t get too dirty. But before you or your employees start working from the office again, it’s important to make sure that the office is properly cleaned. This will likely have to be a more intensive cleaning than usual, simply because it will be necessary to get rid of all of the dirt that has accumulated. You may want to hire cleaning services or buy professional cleaning supplies.

Implement strict sanitizing protocols

It’s no use cleaning your offices and making sure they are sanitized and hygienic if employees won’t be sanitizing their hands regularly. You should implement strict sanitizing protocols, and of course, to do this, you need to provide sanitizing stations in a variety of easy-to-access locations. Encourage employees to sanitize not only their hands but also any shared equipment such as printers. 

Prepare your employees

We’ve established that working from home was likely an adjustment for both you and your employees. But, as with most changes, we’re sure you all got used to it. In fact, many people prefer remote work nowadays, since it usually means more flexibility and the opportunity to wear sweatpants all day if you want. Thus, getting up early, dressing in work clothes, commuting to work, and then having to socialize will be an adjustment for everyone. It’s important that you communicate clearly what is expected of employees during this time so that miscommunication can be avoided. You may also choose to keep some workers remote and have others come in, which means you’ll have to manage your remote workers and your other employees at the same time. This, of course, will be an adjustment for you as a business owner, since you will likely need to manage these teams in different ways. 

Make sure your computers are up to date

Most people who work remotely work from their own desktops or laptops, which means that your office computers may have been unused for a long time. Because of this, they could have many software updates that need to be installed. Be sure to do this before your employees get back to the office – otherwise, they may be unable to work on their first day back. 

Have the proper safety measures in place

Look, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to wear face masks, social distance, sanitize, fill in forms, and have our temperatures taken. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world where there is currently a pandemic, and while you may not be able to stop the virus, you should do everything in your power to ensure that your offices are as safe as possible. This way, you can help minimize the spread of the virus. Everyone – you, your employees, and your customers – should be wearing face masks in the office. If your employees are refusing, you can have them read more about the importance of face masks here. You should also enforce social distancing by having stickers on the floor to indicate where people are allowed to stand. If you want to, you can ask people to have their temperature taken before entering the office, and also to fill in a form that indicates whether they have any Covid-19 symptoms. 

Respect restrictions

Even with lockdown easing up, most areas still have restrictions on how many people are allowed in a building. You need to respect this, even if it means your clients need to wait outside for a bit until the office is empty enough for them to enter. Keep in mind that you may also need to have your employees work in shifts to make sure you don’t go over the restrictions. 

Reevaluate your budget

Many businesses took a financial knock when lockdown hit. However, having your employees return to the office is sure to affect your finances in some way as well, even if it’s not as drastic. Suddenly, you’ll have to pay for electricity and internet in the office again. You’ll also have trivial expenses like toilet paper, coffee and sugar, and stationery – but these trivial expenses add up. It is, therefore, a good idea to follow these steps and set up a business budget to make sure you know what your new financial situation will look like. 

Consider the mental aspect

Finally, lockdown, the pandemic, and everything else that has happened this past year and a half has had an impact on many people’s mental health. Your employees may be feeling stressed about returning to work, and anxious about leaving their family at home after being there alongside them for so long. It is important that you are supportive during this time. If someone is really struggling to readjust, you may want to refer them for counseling to help them get used to the situation.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.