September 6, 2022
Posted by: DevDigital
With the COVID-19 pandemic winding down, probably, many businesses have been transitioning back to all in-person work. Others will make the change soon. Since the emergence of this virus drove businesses to go remote or shut down and lay off workers, lots of things have changed. Transitioning back to a regular office environment won’t be as easy as it would be if everyone just went on vacation at the same time. You can make things easier by remembering communication, flexibility, and culture change. Read on to learn more about returning to pre-pandemic office routines, more or less.
Communicate and Be Flexible
Communication and flexibility are probably the two keywords to use in transitioning everyone back to being in the office full time. Fortune magazine offered some tips that expand on those two themes:
Understand Personnel Issues That May Arise
While employees may be willing to return to work, if not happy, you can expect some issues to arise while any COVID-related restrictions fall away. Depending on conditions in your area, some workers may be afraid of returning to the office because of the risks that they perceive. Others have family responsibilities that they did not have two years ago. Some employees will be at high risk from a COVID-19 infection or caring for someone who is. They’ll be nervous about returning to the office.
You can make things easier without hurting team dynamics or productivity in a couple of ways. Making wise use of cloud-based software to share information and work together is generally a viable option. Try giving employees some leeway in how they return to the office as well. Expectations and attitudes have shifted somewhat over the past couple of years.
Realize That Culture Change May Be Necessary
Planning and communication are critical to getting employees back in the office and being happy about it. Expectations and standards often changed during the pandemic. Many workers are more willing to work from home, more open to using new software, and more self-motivating. Software like Teams and Zoom cannot fully replace face-to-face meetings and teamwork though. That’s something to keep in mind before letting everyone work from home if they want to.
Review Policies and Procedures
You can’t ignore the possibility of another COVID-19 surge or a whole new pandemic infection emerging. What policies and procedures need to be updated so the company can respond effectively, minimizing business disruptions, keeping data secure, and protecting employees’ health. Here are some of the specific items you may need to review:
This policy and procedure review should serve you well because COVID-19 might come back. If not, something else will happen.
Check government guidelines related to reopening. There may be local, state, or federal rules that affect your industry in particular. Certain federal legislation, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act may affect your return-to-office procedures. Check OSHA guidance and FDA guidance, if FDA rules are relevant to your industry. Government regulations and guidance aside, a trade or professional association for your industry may also publish guidance on returning to work.
Future-Proof Your Business
If the COVID pandemic flares up again, or a new one appears, you and your employees will be ready to adjust their habits.
Information technology could and probably should be a key part of your post-COVID business strategy. Tools that help employees work productively from anywhere have proven their worth during the pandemic years. If your business doesn’t require people to be on-site, collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint make remote working much easier and more productive.
Planning, Communication, and the Right Technologies are Crucial
Communication and good planning will make it easier to navigate some of the human resource challenges related to transitioning back to the office. Technology that supports online collaboration can help ease the transition back to traditional office work. If your company needs cloud-based applications to facilitate remote work and in-the-office work, give DevDigital a call to set up a short conversation about your software needs.