When Should We Reopen Our Office?

After more than an entire year of working from home, restrictions are starting to lift in many areas around the world, and many businesses are choosing to return to the workplace. Every organisation will face different situations or phases as they slowly move their company back into the office. Before jumping back into office life, it's essential to consider what that is going to look like and how to ensure each employee's safety and health.ary on the main blog page. Click on this text to edit it. 

The CPID recommends businesses try to meet these three tests before returning their workforce back into a physical location. This test includes asking your company if it is essential, if it is safe, and if it is mutually agreed upon. What does that mean, and how do you ensure that your business fits or meets those tests? Read on to learn more about these three key considerations. 

 

1. Is It Essential? 

Does your business need to meet in person, or can your employees do the work from home? It's essential to understand how your employees feel about the situation as well as assess your company's productivity and morale. If you're still able to maintain consistent productivity and meet company goals while working from home, there might not be an essential reason to meet in person. 

 

If an employer can continue allowing their employees to work from home, they should. As a business owner, it's your job to ensure you're giving clear guidelines on what a return would look like if you must meet in person. 

 

2. Is It Safe? 

If you must meet in person, it's essential to determine how you plan to keep employees safe. Crowded workspaces or tight offices will no longer work for employees. Instead, you need to provide ample space and rearrange workspaces to encourage social distancing. This also might mean restricting any outside visitors and using posters to remind employees to stay apart and keep up with sanitizing or cleaning procedures. 

 

If you have too small of an office, your employees may need to shift the hours they're currently working to support limited capacities. Consider what you'll do to ensure that your workspace will stay consistently clean to keep your employees safe. 

 

3. Is It Mutually Agreed On? 

Many employees are nervous about coming back into the office or would prefer to work from home permanently. It's essential to have a conversation with each employee to understand and respect their concerns or fears of coming back into a physical working environment. There will need to be understanding and flexibility from both manager and employee to find reasonable accommodations to meet everyone's needs. 

 

Create Your Reopening Strategy Properly 

If your organization passes all three tests, you are welcome to reopen your office. However, it's important to spend a considerable amount of time with your leadership team to provide guidelines in a safe environment that is inclusive to your employee's worries. The decisions that companies choose to make as we head back into office life can significantly impact employee retention, workplace expectations and set the tone of your business.