In the last couple of months, the work from home scenario has been very different. Your work station was turning into a classroom, your work attire meant sweatpants, and mid-meeting your pet often came in to say hello or your kids treat you like a human jungle climbing you as you are working on weekly reports.
Between multitasking between working at home, taking care of children, and making sure dinner is on the table, it’s also been a safe space for us. With stay-at-home restrictions lifted, and more of the workforce returning to the office, leaving the safety of their homes to come and work for you.
As someone in a leadership position, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and health of your employees returning to work. This can only be achieved by compassion and patience. Have a look at 5 ways to help staff make an easier difficult transition from working from home to the office.
#1 Implement Hygiene Protocols
Every business needs to have hygiene protocols in place as workers step into the office. This includes everything from social distancing in break rooms, a massive supply of hand sanitizer for regular use, regular cleaning of restrooms often, and making sure working desks are at least six feet apart. It may be time to revise safety measures around the floorplan of your office time and install sneeze guards.
#2 Bring in Employees Slowly
A good way to restart your business is by limiting the number of employees that can step foot in the building. By allowing only a small percentage of staff to return to the office will not only help contain the spread of the virus but will help staff feel comfortable and at ease as they make the commute into work. As time passes, you can slowly phase in the rest of the employees.
#3 Casual Attire
By now it is established that sweatpants and yoga pants have become the go-to work attire lately. A fun way to welcome your employees would be by giving your employees the option to wear casual attire in the office during the first couple of weeks.
#4 Show Empathy
With the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it, everyone’s world has turned upside down. People have lost loved ones, dealt with unemployment in the family, losing jobs, and suffering financial burdens as COVID-19 has spread across the world. Here is why it’s important to consider your employees’ emotions as they return.
Check-in with employees every other day and take an interest in them beyond work assignments. When you show empathy towards your team, you will earn their respect and create an emotionally safe space for them as well.
#5 Offer Flex Hours
Working from home has tossed the “9 to 5” schedule out. People have been working on their hours. This new routine will make it difficult to revert to the way things were. Help them ease into the workspace by offering flex hours for the first couple of weeks. Offering this kind of flexibility would help employees get back into the swing of it and help you hit a home run as a leader!
At a time like this, offering your employees guidance and support will go a long way. If you show your team that you care about their wellbeing, it will reflect in their performance and they will appreciate your efforts at the end of the day.