Tuesday, June 9, 2020

How to Reopen the Offices After COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic starts to wane and states start to open back up, businesses are making plans of their own. At least they should be. There won’t be a throwing open of the doors like at the start of the Kentucky Derby. State and local governments are slowly easing their lockdown restrictions and opening business a little at a time. Large companies and offices should take this time to prepare their reopening strategy so that, when they get the green light, they can bring everyone back. Here are some tips on how to reopen the offices after COVID-19 so your team can be successful going forward.

Change the Floor Plan

There is going to be a push for more space in the office, so get ready to shuffle things around. If you had the dreadful open office plan previously, now you can change it up. Look at some different concepts and plans that are effective. The multi-use office is gaining popularity among management and employees alike. It has different workstations for different kinds of work—couches, desks, long tables, and cubicles so employees can work and maintain distance in the ways that are best for them.

Give Employees Time

Don’t rush anyone back to the office. Different people have different views on the pandemic and what should happen next. Some will be ready to get back to work and out of the house, while others want some more time and prefer to work from home. Give them that option, or create a flex schedule of coming in or staying home until everyone feels safe being in the office. There is always the option of leaving full-time remote working on the table for those that want it.

There’s No Time Like the Present

If you were planning an office renovation, now is a great time to get that done. With the entire team working remotely, use the time to get rid of that open office concept and create a new workspace. This will allow you to create more space between employees and disinfect the office from the studs to the workstations. A new workspace will revitalize the team and allay some of their fears in the process.

Increase the Cleaning Budget

Whatever you are spending on office cleaning, double it. If the custodial staff was only cleaning the office twice a week, increase that to daily. Encourage the use of hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes, and provide them for anyone who wants them. Tell the team right away what steps you have taken to keep the office as clean as possible. When you’re considering how to reopen the offices after COVID-19, you’ll want to give your employees a sense that the company cares for and is concerned about their health and wellbeing.