After a long break from working at office spaces, employees are finally being called back to their designated locations. The beginning of the pandemic put everyone in a frenzy, affecting the way businesses operated while figuring out a way to keep their employees working through the lockdowns. While work-from-home culture might have seemed like a downward-facing trend at the beginning of 2020, with technical failures and telemeeting fibs, employees and managers all found their rhythm to work in sync. Within a few months, people seemed well adjusted to the prospect of working from home for an extended period of time, having seen the benefits it can provide. Even businesses seemed to benefit immensely out of the newfound dynamics while saving on office space, employee commuting expenses, and other bills like office supplies. Remote working was the savior of the economy in more ways than we can imagine.

However, as the pandemic begins to lose its grip on humanity, businesses are now keen to have their employees back and working at their established offices. While this has garnered a mixed reaction from people and leaders all over the world, some are looking forward to getting back to the old working pattern. If you’re once such an organization leader or manager calling employees back to work, there are a few things that need sorting out before your most valuable assets arrive. Use this blog as a guideline for the important decisions to check off the list to ensure a smooth transition.

  1. Deep Cleaning: If you owned an office space rather than leasing one, we’re sure there must be a lot to clean up considering it hasn’t been fully operational in the last two years. Get professional cleaners on board and give the office workspace a deep cleaning session to declutter and make space for good vibes.
  2. Painting: Two years of being seldomly used is enough to turn an office space stale. The weather changes can also cause an occurrence of mold on the walls, chipping off paint, and cracks. If you haven’t gotten the rooms painted yet, now is the time to call in a team of business painters and get the job done. Nothing spells optimistic new beginnings like freshly painted spaces. This will also give your returning employees a sense of enthusiasm as they commence working from offices.
  3. Maintenance and repairs:  Make sure that your equipment, electrical equipment, and gadgets are all running at the best possible performance rate by getting them serviced and repaired. From your fixtures such as lighting, central heating, and cooling, to the equipment such as fax machines, photocopiers, printers, and computers, all electronics need to be fine-tuned before you start working on them to full capacity again. If you have a pantry equipped with a refrigerator and microwave, make sure you get all such appliances serviced as well. Timely maintenance and upgrading the office computers will improve the efficiency of your employees.
  4. Socially distanced workstations: It is necessary that each organization makes sure to understand the social distancing protocol and adheres to it while organizing seating arrangements. We no longer can fit the old notion of squeezing together cubicles to reduce space wastage because today, space is a non-negotiable aspect of staying safe. Since the pandemic is still ongoing, make sure to adhere to the minimum social distancing protocols while setting up work stations, desks, and cubicles for your employees and urge them to follow COVID protocol.
  5. Fully equipped lunchroom: One of the factors that play a role in having your employees as comfortable with working back in offices is ensuring they are looked after. Having a dedicated lunchroom with a fully equipped snack bar will help them transition better. Ensuring that your employees stay healthy is one of the top priorities if one wishes to succeed in the long run.
  6. Hygiene products and medication: One of the biggest deterrents of employees coming back to work at offices is the common washroom sanitation and hygiene. Make sure that your restrooms are regularly cleaned multiple times and are stocked with all that a person could need to maintain proper sanitation. Keep in mind to have a well-stocked medication or first-aid box for anyone feeling unwell. Include female sanitary products, cramp medication, and heating pads to improve gender sensitivity at the workplace since these small things make a big difference in the employees’ morale.
  7. Regular sanitation: Your workplace will see many employees, clients, and other parties visiting regularly and it is possible for some to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Adopt the practice of sanitizing and disinfecting the office, desks, and furniture once a day right after everyone leaves or before everyone arrives to ensure the COVID protocol best practices are being followed.
  8. Temperature checks: Make temperature checks and daily registration of attendants a must. This will make it simpler to track the spread of an outbreak in the future and prevent other employees from getting sick. Also, ensure that all the entrances have automated dispensers for hand sanitizers that people can use before entering.
  9. Revamped health policies: Your health policies have changed a few times over the last two years due to the pandemic and may require a quick change once again. Now that the employees will be commuting to the workplace again, you can hand out the option to work from home if someone is feeling unwell, mental health check-in days, and other such facilities that will take the pressure off of your employees. Take a look at what the biggest organizations are doing for their workforce and adapt yourself accordingly.

Wrapping Up

The transition from working remotely to going back to an office space can be exciting and anxiety-inducing at the same time for everyone. Considering that we have gotten used to one way of life, we have to learn to improvise and adapt once again. The checklist mentioned above will ensure that you are ready for your employees to start working with everything in place. We hope it helps you get settled quickly!