How to Prepare Employees for Returning to the Office

After more than a year of working remotely, the time to return to the office is coming soon. If you’re considering pulling the plug on your work-from-home orders once it’s safe to do so, you have a big responsibility on your shoulders. You not only have to make sure your staff feels properly motivated to return, but you also have to ensure their safety needs are met. 

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Pretending everything is normal isn’t going to cut it. You’ll have to develop a well-rehearsed plan to help streamline the transition. Here are some tips to help you do that.

Communicate Clearly

Nobody likes being kept in the dark, so don’t keep your plans to return to the office a secret. You’ll want to be transparent from the very start, sharing your ideas as soon as you have relevant details. 

Your memo should include a timeline for when you expect to get everyone back at their desks, along with the way you intend to return to the office. For example, will you embrace staggered shifts, or will you de-densify workspaces? Let them know here. 

Ask for Advice

While many employees might be excited about coming back into the office, others may have some reservations about the change of scenery. Some of your employees may have really enjoyed remote work, so returning to the office may significantly impact their experiences on the job. 

Talk to them about these concerns and be open to their suggestions. You might want to consider letting some of your employees continue to work remotely if this is a sticking point.

Make Employees Feel Safe

Safety concerns are some of the reasons why certain employees might be hesitant to return to the office. After so long spent social distancing, it can feel strange to spend time with people in such close quarters. 

As their employer, you need to address these concerns head-on and prove you’re taking their safety seriously. Consult with your government’s guide on worker screening, density plans, and disinfecting routines, remembering to check in with any internal health and safety committees to ensure you’re on the right track. 

Give a Return-to-Work Present

In addition to office-wide safety protocols, surprise your employees with a little healthcare set at their desks. This added touch can show you really care. 

Not sure what to include? The top items in most welcome back hampers are hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and a couple of branded face masks to wear during the week. Many corporate apparel printing services now offer custom face mask printing to help employers welcome back staff safely. You can easily add face masks to a bulk t-shirt printing order, or you can order them on their own. 

Let Them Organize Their Desks Ahead of Time

Some of your employees may have left their cubicles abruptly, not knowing that they would be working remotely for a year. Letting them come in early allows your employees to clean up any messes, dust off the keyboard, and get themselves prepared for their first day back.

Bottom Line

A return to the office may not be a return to normal — not yet, anyway! You’ll have to expect changes to the way your team works in the initial reopening stages. These tips will help you ride the wave more smoothly.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas, United States. 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 grow their bessiness.