For many of us, working from home has become a normal part of our lives due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. For the past few months, the lines of our living and working spaces have been blurred. However, with restrictions easing up, many offices are beginning to open back up, at least on a rotational basis for now. Eventually, there will come a time where everyone will be allowed back into the office. Whether or not you’re looking forward to or dreading going back to the office full-time, it is important to be prepared. Here are some quick tips to keep your morale up, and hit the ground running when you get back to the office.
- Safety is Key
For many, being back in the office for the first time in a long time will feel unusual. Of course, if we have learnt anything over the past few months, its that safety should always be key. Human Resources (HR) should communicate the business continuity and safety measures for working in the office to all employees. These may include split teams and staggered break hours, which are hard to get used to. Furthermore, large-scale meetings may still be conducted over online platforms such as Zoom. Of course, one should always keep a mask handy while at work as well and ensure that they wash their hands frequently.
As these safety measures may be a lot to adjust to first-thing when employees get back to work, they should be orientated early. The sooner employees are familiar with new safety measures, the faster and more easily they will adjust to these.
- Keep Communication Up
During the months where employees were working for home, its no surprise that keeping them engaged has been a much bigger challenge for management and HR alike. In the early stages, employees may be split into teams that go back to the office on a rotational basis. At this stage, it might be tough to manage and coordinate communication between both teams. As the pre-covid office dynamic has long been turned upside down, coordinating communication between remote workers and those in the office might take some adjusting. Keeping up Zoom meetings for teams and regular check-ins with all employees is a good step to keep up communication between employees.
With everyone still adjusting to being back at the office, keeping communication up will ensure that there still exists a strong dynamic between employees. This not only ensures that productivity levels stay up, it also ensures that your employees have a sense of belonging and purpose within your organisation.
- Monitor and Check-In on Employees
This goes far beyond productivity levels, although that is of course important as well. The pandemic has not been easy on anyone. It has had adverse impacts on the mental and emotional wellbeing of many. Have regular check-ins with employees to ensure that they are coping well and adjusting to yet another change in their work environment. Their mental health is just as important as their physical health, and it should be treated as such. Regular check-ins not only ensure that your employees are adjusting and coping well, it can also help you identify gaps in the way teams are communicating, and ways to remedy these.
Checking in with employees to ensure their wellbeing is important in maintaining employee welfare. Furthermore, doing so ensures that the current communication and work plans are efficient and productive. If they are not, checking in with employees gives you an opportunity to change these.
Understand That Change Takes Time…
While many have more or less adjusted to the changes caused by the covid-19 pandemic, adjusting into what many may call the “New Normal” will take time. Just as working from home was a big adjustment for many, so will returning to the workplace be. Individuals take varying levels of time to adjust to changes and new environments. It is important for employers and HR to work towards providing a safe, conducive environment for employees. Listening to employee concerns will help you identify any improvements that can be made, and better understand how your employees are coping. Making employees feel seen and heard are important, especially during this trying time. All in all, transitions such as this take time and are bound to be met with hiccups here and there. Even so, don’t be afraid to think outside the box to find new communication or work measures that work best for you and your employees.
JuzTalent promotes productivity and communication amongst your employees. With the use of the eTime function, you can actively track your employees’ working hours regardless or whether they are in the office or at home. Furthermore, the eProfile function ensures quick communication between employees, as employees are able to quickly find work-related information about their colleagues. Its built-in event reminders about birthdays and anniversaries also ensures that employees feel a sense of belonging as well. Adjusting to being back in the office can be a challenge, but JuzTalent alleviates some of this stress to give you a seamless, cohesive experience.