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Bringing Employees Back to the Office? Here's How to do it Safely.

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Over the last several months, everyone's worlds were turned upside down. One of the most common changes resulted in working from the kitchen table instead of the office. Recently, companies have been bringing employees back to office life, but that doesn't come without challenges of its own. If you're doing the same thing, you might be wondering how to go about this in the safest way possible. Keep reading for 3 things that will help to make the transition safe and comfortable for everyone.

 

Give the Office a Deep Cleaning
While chances are your office space is cleaned on a regular schedule, do you know when its last true deep cleaning was? Now is the perfect time to set one up. This will not only make the office sparkle and shine, but provide the security that it's disinfected and safe as well. Since you have your hands full as it is, don't spend a second thinking you'll be rolling up your sleeves to tackle the job yourself. Make a list of things that are important to you, such as environmentally friendly cleaning agents, efficiency of cleaning and drying, or choices of services offered. Getting behind the keyboard and doing a quick search for "Carpet cleaning near me" will ensure your office flooring and other soft surfaces (such as office chairs) are left fresh and sanitized. If you have a cleaning crew, request that they include disinfecting of high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, keyboards and switches in their routine.

 

Have a Plan
Establishments of all kinds have created different plans to accommodate the return of employees or patrons. Common safety measures — closing communal spaces (such as break rooms) will cut down on the number of employees gathering together at one time. Instead of holding meetings inside, take advantage of the decent weather while you can and move them outside. Encourage virtual meetings with outside clients, consultants or out-of-town employees. Whatever your plan entails, keep in mind how necessary flexibility and adaptability will be for success. Adjustments to individual schedules might be necessary, whether it's due to increased anxiety or outside stressors, such as childcare. These times are ever-changing and being able to roll with it is essential. Remember to post your company guidelines where they will be seen by your employees and provide ample communication whenever there's an adjustment made. Having everyone on the same page is critical to the health and safety of all. Creating a committee for workplace safety would be beneficial here.

 

Prioritize Mental and Emotional Wellness
It's no secret that the last several months have been difficult for many different reasons. Some of the most alarming issues have centered around mental health. Isolation, fear, financial worries, illness and family struggles have all taken their toll. It's important to have a plan in place to provide support to your employees should they need it. Remind your employees of assistance that is available through the company and encourage them to utilize it. Come up with ways employees can manage stress during their time spent in the office. This could look like encouraging more breaks, offering more schedule flexibility when needed, or having regular check-ins for feedback and suggestions.

When it comes to getting employees back to the office, there will undoubtedly be a lot of moving pieces and parts. This is a tumultuous time for all, and it's essential that everyone works together to the best of their abilities. By being proactive, communicating and keeping an open mind, getting everyone back together in a safe manner is within reach. Being able to adjust along the way based on the current situation will be necessary as well. The silver lining in all of this is that everyone is in the same situation. By working together, the health and safety of your employees is possible.

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