Support Your Employees’ Return to the Office

Cezanne HR
Cezanne HR

employee using hand sanitizer at desk

You have most likely implemented changes in your workplace already and whether staff are working remotely or have adapted to new guidelines at the office, there are still kinks that need to be worked out and every day brings new challenges.

So, as restrictions are eased, more companies are likely to start bringing employees back to the office—and we've got the ways you can support your workforce and help them to return to work in the office below. 

How Might a Safe Return to the Office Even Look?

This is a question that’ll have variables including when and where you’re reading this. If in doubt, consult websites like CDC, NHS and WHO for further information.

It is important to not only look after their health but the health of your entire workforce. Vulnerable team members should be considered with additional scrutiny. If you are still operating from your building and an employee wishes to return, you need to consider if they have followed the rules for self-isolation if they or a member of their household have shown symptoms.

If your employee is returning to your office building or any other form of premises, they should be provided with the necessary PPE. They should also be briefed about any new rules, guidelines or procedures before they enter the building. The office will likely require a commercial clean to ensure that any instances of the virus are destroyed.

It’s critical you’re flexible and accommodating to team members returning to work. Childcare may be a challenge, or caring for others. Work with them to create the best shift pattern for everybody and modify hours if needed.

Related: According to the latest guidelines from the CDC, office building employers, building owners and managers, and building operations specialists can take action today to create a safe and healthy workplace and protect workers and clients.

Providing Emotional Support

The pandemic has evoked emotions in many of us we didn’t know possible. Anxiety, stress, anger and grief are more common and won’t simply go away.

Consider providing professional support for those who are interested. In addition, some ideas to emotionally care for your team members include:

  • Allowing employees to complete tasks they agree to and know they can finish.
  • Remove non-essential tasks so employees can focus on what is urgent and matters most.

Related: Provide emotional support to your team members

As a leader, stay in contact and tailor your approach to match your team members individually.  

Provide the Technology Necessary to Work Anywhere

Your team members might be transitioning from self-isolation to working from home, which may seem easy but can feel a bit confusing and overwhelming. If the team isn’t used to working from home, what was once an easy passing question or quick morning brief can quickly become difficult to communicate.

If you haven’t already implemented a cloud HR system in your workplace, this is a good time to do so. Using cloud-based systems, such as those from Cezanne HR, ensures that when someone does return to work, they can easily see an overview of all projects. You reduce the risk of any tasks being duplicated or missed and improve overall team productivity.

If team members are working from home, consider slowly easing back into office life at a pace that fits your organization best. Take overall workforce safety and emotional support into account when making plans, and be sure to share your plans with employees to keep them informed.

To see how today's environment is shaping the employee experience, download our research paper, The Psychological Toll of COVID-19 on the Workforce.

employee sentiment research report

Cezanne HR

Cezanne HR

Written with support from CezanneHR, a UK-based company supporting human resources management software solutions.