Vaccines are readily available, COVID-19 statistics are promising, and many Americans are beginning to feel safe again. For many employers, this is a good sign that it is safe to return to the office. However, this can be a challenge. Some of your workforce is eager to return, some of your staff has been vocal about their preference for remote work, and many employees may just be hesitant and nervous to make the change.
So, how do you address this and get your staff onboard to return? The answer is that you must have a plan in place.
Whether you are a small or midsize business and whether this task falls on the CEO themselves, or the HR department, it needs to be well-thought out and clear cut. Here are a few things to consider when planning your transition from remote work to being back in the office.
Safety Must be First and Foremost
While many of your employees may be fully vaccinated, you must accept that this won’t be the case for every employee. Therefore, you must put policies in place for when wearing masks is necessary, distancing employees’ workstations, and enhanced cleaning measures.
You must also be open to the possibility that if some of your employees or their close family members have specific health concerns, they may require some additional flexibility in how and when they return to the office. Bringing your employees back in stages may be an option to consider.
As we have learned throughout the pandemic, the number of COVID-19 cases can vary greatly based on geographic location. Some states and cities may experience spikes, while the states and cities around them do not. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor the situation in your area and adjust your policies accordingly. Keep your policies in line with your state and local guidelines.
Educate your Employees
Keeping your employees updated and giving them advanced notice is important. They may need to make arrangements for childcare or address a variety of other concerns. The more they understand the safety plan, the better they will be able to follow it.
Encourage your employees to ask questions and voice their concerns, take their feedback into consideration. If your team feels heard and included in the decision making process, they will feel more comfortable and supported during the transition process.
The CDC Guidelines for returning to the workplace recommend that your employees should monitor their health and stay home at any sign of sickness, especially if they are unvaccinated. Be sure to share all the available information with your employees as they return.
Enjoy the Community Aspects of the Workplace
The best part of being able to return to the workplace is creating a renewed feeling of community. Bringing your employees together again is a great opportunity to encourage teamwork, support, and a vibrant workplace.
Many of your employees have probably been missing the personal aspect of their working relationships. This can get lost in the shuffle of video conferencing and email correspondences. While large gatherings are still questionable, be sure to encourage your employees to catch up over coffee and meet face-to-face for brainstorming and strategy sessions.
While you’re re-evaluating your office space, maybe you should re-evaluate your payroll as well! If you haven’t heard of PayWow, it’s time to check us out. We offer big payroll solutions to small businesses. Schedule a demo to learn more about our great options for W2 employees and contractor payroll.