Congratulations! Your tenants and employees are back. You had a strategy for getting employees back, and planned for it by preparing your space for their return. You communicated well and often. You were sensitive to their safety concerns, and you created a work environment conducive to comfort and high productivity. Great job going back to work after COVID —but you’re not done yet.
Doing the work is great, but sustaining the work is critical to the long-term success of your office return. Most employees are suffering from PCSD (Post COVID Stress Disorder), which has been exacerbated by the rising wave of the Delta variant. So be vigilant.
Keep up the good work of maintaining employee workspace separation, office cleanliness, maintaining consistent information flow, and promoting an open dialogue. And once you’ve done everything in your power to get them back, take your efforts to the next level.
Going Back to Work After COVID
Here are a few concepts to consider when going back to work after COVID:
- Remind your employees you are doing everything in your power to keep the office clean and safe. Tell them how often you are doing it. Never let them forget you care.
- Record workspace usage and productivity statistics and post a scorecard that demonstrates the actual benefits of being back together.
- Surprise your office employees with a COVID safe and sensitive morning treat only those in the office receive.
- Place a sanitation station at the front of your office. Your employees can then grab cleaning tools and materials on the way to their desks. Yes, I know you just cleaned it last night, but little extra gestures like this go a long way to instilling confidence in your management team and settling nerves.
- Listen to what your employees have to say about your new office policies by prompting conversations and accepting new ideas. Get into the habit of being flexible. These are trying times for everyone. So take the time to listen extra carefully and be willing to adjust your policies and your expectations.
- Apply discipline by admonishing those that do not “work-by-the-rules.” Everyone is sacrificing some level of comfort by being in the office. Make sure you respect that sacrifice by applying your new rules consistently across all employees and departments. Do it privately, but do it well.
Embrace the New Environment
We are in a different era now. There is no going back to how things were before the pandemic. Avoid trying to return your office environment to what it was in the past. Instead, embrace the new, vibrant, and productive place it is now where employees feel safe, feel heard, and remain healthy.
The more time you take to illustrate and reinforce the benefits of your comprehensive new office safety strategy, the more rapidly employees will adjust. Doing the right thing isn’t enough. You need to keep doing it. Before you know it the “new normal” will become just “normal” and you’ll be back to worrying about mundane concerns like revenue growth, profit, and client satisfaction.
Stay healthy my friends.
Discover more best practices for reopening office buildings—watch: The Future of Commercial Offices: 4 Keys to a Successful Post-COVID Reopening webinar.