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It’s almost time for your employees to return to work after the long Covid-19 pandemic that completely changed the way we carry out our day-to-day tasks.
No one knows how it’s going to pan out, but the pandemic has been going on for almost 18 months now, and your employees are probably tired and ready to get back to normal. But what happens when they walk through the door? The answer is simple – you need to be prepared.
From creating a welcoming work environment to ensuring that all employees are protected and comfortable and preparing your drive-through and parking lot with commercial pressure washing rates, there are a variety of things you can do to ensure that your employees feel right at home when they return to work.
To assist you in your endless endeavor to prepare your office for the return of your employees, we have compiled a list of the five most important things you need to do. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!
6 Ways to Prepare Your Office for the Return of Employees
With most employees returning to work in the next few weeks, it’s important to ensure that your office will be ready to handle an influx of people.
Whether you need new office supplies or some last-minute maintenance on your office spaces, there are some things you can do ahead of time to make sure your office is prepared for the end of summer.
This blog post will give you some ideas on how to prepare your office for the return of employees this fall.
1. Realign Employees to Business Values
With employees out of their offices for over a year, you can bet that they are going to have strong opinions about things like your company’s values and mission statements and how they feel these impact their day-to-day work and interactions with colleagues and customers.
You need to be able to determine quickly whether your employees still adhere to your business values and, if not, reevaluate them, so everyone is on board.
There is nothing worse than letting new employees go because they do not fit into your organizational culture. Remember – core values transcend staff shortages, time off, and even major pandemics!
2. Stop Trying to Micromanage Employees
Due to new advances in productivity technology, you will be happy to know that you no longer need to monitor every aspect of your employee’s workday! As an employer, it is important to give employees enough space and flexibility within their jobs so they can do what they need to do without having to come back and ask questions or ask permission all day long.
This does not mean that employers should stop helping out or trusting their employees; it just means we must adjust our mindset about monitoring tasks.
Having employees prepare detailed daily reports on how they are doing can go a long way towards making sure you are up-to-date on everything that needs your attention while freeing up time for you to focus on other things like strategic planning.
3. Focus on Creating a Safe Work Environment
Whether employees are returning to work after a long time or they’ve never been out, you need to make sure that your office is safe and secure.
This may involve reconfiguring certain areas in your office, purchasing new safety equipment, ensuring that fire exits are unobstructed, making sure you have adequate protection against bioterrorism and pandemics, reviewing office policies around sick days/days off/timekeeping/payroll, etc., etc., etc.
The last thing you want is to have an employee run into serious health problems due to negligence on your part! If there’s one thing we know for sure about today’s workplace, it’s that it’s not like it used to be…make sure your office provides every possible advantage in terms of keeping employees healthy and well.
4. Reflect on Fairness and Inclusivity
It is absolutely critical that your new employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves some may call it a family, others may refer to it as a community or extended family, but whatever you call it, you need to be sure that everyone feels like they belong at your workplace! Of course, there are many ways to do this you can create committees with different tasks assigned to various employees, require teamwork on specific projects/goals/tasks, etc.
If we really want our workplaces to flourish, we must remember that teamwork makes the dream work…at least as far as productivity goes.
5. Set Clear Expectations and Protocols
It is important to let employees know what to expect in terms of work, job responsibilities, projects, etc. especially if they are returning after a long absence! We all need clear expectations and protocols that we can adhere to in order to prevent miscommunication or misunderstandings between coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates.
Consider implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) across your company, so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them at all times another huge boon towards ensuring productivity.
When it comes to creating SOPs, you must remember that they are not just guidelines, but rather strict rules employees have to follow; you should hold all employees accountable for following these standards even if certain exceptions arise or if staff members forget about them occasionally.
Employers who do not communicate clearly with their staff will find themselves held hostage by unclear standards…an awful place to be since everything becomes problematic trust me, I’ve been there…twice!
6. Commit to Ongoing Evaluation and Assessment
It is important that you take stock of how your employees are doing on a regular basis. Are they struggling with certain tasks? Do they need more training? Do they have questions about something specific? There are many ways to accomplish ongoing evaluation – one way is by having weekly or monthly meetings where you meet with each employee in private and ask them open-ended questions about their job, career goals, etc.
This can be done formally during an annual review or informally via email/phone, depending on what works best at your company! Be sure to include any feedback from these interactions into your written reviews which should occur every six months at a minimum.
Productive Work Environment
Remember that creating a productive work environment takes a little bit of effort – but it’s well worth it in terms of ensuring that employees are able to do their best work and achieve their goals! Sometimes, though, we can’t anticipate what will disrupt our plans…in those situations, you must make sure you have a contingency plan in place so you can take action as quickly as possible.