Planning for the return to the office

Vaccinations have exceeded 54 million at the time of writing, the Government’s road to recovery seemingly on track, hairdressers, shops and pubs re-opening …. do we dare to dream that we might soon return to the office?

For many, the last 13 months has been long and arduous – yes, it has been a blessing not having to sit in lengthy traffic jams during our commute, but everyone we have spoken to agrees – more than anything, we have missed seeing our friends and colleagues at work.

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So, how can business leaders plan to return to the office? Here are a few things they should consider:

Carry out a staff survey

Ask your people what they want and balance this with the business needs of how often you need staff in the workplace. Love it or loathe it, hybrid working gives people the opportunity to balance life and work according to their own individual needs and the pandemic has made people reflect on their personal choices.

Be safe

Make sure your workplace is COVID-safe – and reassure your staff it is.

Speak to your people

Some will be super keen to get back, others may be very anxious – it is important to understand everyone is unique and there may be many different reasons for how they are feeling.

Stagger start/finish times

When you do return, consider staggering start/finish times especially for those who have been shielding and/or need to use public transport to get to work.

Seek advice

You may have seen the news coverage on making vaccinations and testing mandatory in the workplace, with various potentially controversial straplines including ‘No jab, no job’. This approach may lead businesses into trouble, so please seek advice.

Lisa Trent is our HR guru

There really isn’t very much to do with people that she doesn’t know about! Whether it’s furloughing or people management, she’s on hand to listen and help.


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