Post-Pandemic: The Dos and Don’ts
of Returning to the Office

While we are not out of the woods yet, it appears that the COVID-19 spread is beginning to be slowed down. New daily cases have been lower and lower, and with more rounds of the vaccine going out, it appears that we may be returning to some semblance of normalcy soon.

One thing to keep in mind is, just because the threat of the virus may be decreasing, this does not mean that post-pandemic life is going to be exactly the same as it was before. As you decide to return to the office, there will be some pitfalls to watch for, as well as new opportunities to invest in.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind as your team returns to the office.

Do Look Into New Office Space

Large open office spaces are a pandemic nightmare. These spaces are often overcrowded, filled with germs, and hard to maintain. On top of this, remote work has redefined how we see coming into the office. Businesses are now investing in smaller offices that can house portions of their company at a time. Coworking spaces have also gained popularity.

Ultimately, people want flexibility with their working arrangements, and having a giant office that everyone must report to is just not a productive way to work.

Even with real-estate prices at a low, you likely will need outside assistance to make this purchase. A business lender should be the first place you look. New online business lenders allow you to apply for whatever capital solution you need, but all from the comfort of your home. Knowing both your personal and business credit scores, monthly revenue, and budget will only improve your odds of being approved for a business expansion loan.

Investing in separating workplaces will allow your business to still operate in person but in a much more efficient way. Smaller offices will allow your business to have core teams work together, and with the power of technology, they can still collaborate with other teams even if they aren’t in the same location.

Don’t Skimp on Health Equipment

Even when the country is fully open again, your employees will want to know that your business is doing everything that it can to ensure their health and safety within the workplace.

Investing in PPE and other office health equipment will show your employees that you care about them, and it will decrease the risk of any illness spreading in your office in the future.

By now, most employees probably have a personal stock of face masks and hand sanitizer. It still would be beneficial to provide an extra supply in the office should it be needed. Beyond the basic equipment, think of more in-depth ways to provide a safe work environment for your employees.

Investing in air monitoring technology is a great way to ease the concerns of your employees while also leading a safe workplace. Desktop CO2 monitors consistently take measures of the office microclimate to ensure that it is safe. These portable monitors check for CO2 levels, temperature, and air humidity all in an effort to provide a safe and clean environment.

Do Upgrade Office Technology

Luxafor Cube Red On The Wall

On top of health technology, you should also purchase office technology that promotes productivity amongst your employees.

Here is some of the top office technology to look into.

  • Room Availability Cube – Being able to easily see if a conference room is taken will save your team time and energy when booking meetings.
  • WiFi Printer – Toss that dated printer that constantly is jammed for a new, modern one that saves your team time and money.
  • Conferencing Equipment – with a fragmented workforce, video conferencing in the office is going to become even more important. Creating rooms meant specifically for video conferences will help to improve meeting productivity and efficiency.

As your employees return to the office, making sure that they have all the tools they need will help boost productivity and morale.

Don’t Force a Return

Before returning to the office, make sure that it is something that employees feel comfortable doing. Forcing employees to do something is never a good idea.

As you think about the return, consider partnering with your human resources team to ensure that everyone is on the same page about the new work arrangement. You will need to discuss a few key things with your HR team.

First, discuss if the return should be mandatory for all. This will depend on the industry that your business is in, but for most businesses, a 100% return to the office is just not necessary. Meeting with your HR team will help you identify what departments should be in the office, and who does not have to be.

After you decide who needs to be in the office, you should also discuss when and how often they should have to report. Most employees are looking to keep working remotely, at least part-time. Offering a hybrid work schedule will be great for your company culture.

Now that you know who you want to return and when you need to gauge that respective department’s feelings on the return. You are the boss, so ultimately what you want goes, but hearing the employees’ thoughts about a return will be important in building a culture of trust and inclusivity.

After working through everything, you should work with the HR team again to create a finalized flexible workplace arrangement agreement that would lay out the rules for remote work and returning to the office, for all employees.

Do Build Culture

One of the biggest benefits of working together is the human connection that cannot be replicated over a computer screen. Seeing the same faces every day can provide a huge improvement to someone’s sense of meaning and inclusiveness.

When returning to the office, people will likely be tentative to interact as they once did, due to the virus. While we must still follow the CDCs list of best practices, there are ways to build up culture in the workplace again.

Some ways that you can build company culture upon your return are:

  • Socially Distanced Catered Lunch – Order individual meals for each member of the team once a month. This will support a small business in your area while also providing your team with the benefit of coming into the office.
  • Remote Happy Hour – Not every employee will want to go to a bar after work. Instead, offer remote happy hours as many companies did in the early days of the pandemic.
  • At-Home Fitness Challenges – Many companies invest in wellness programs to keep their employees happy and fit. With some still concerned about going to the gym, offering a remote option can generate the same results, but from the safety of home.

Working from home has negatively impacted workplace culture. Upon your return, take some extra time to address this issue, and try to rebuild the culture that your company once boasted.

Passing Words

As the return to the office edges closer, take some time to reflect on how the office was before. Think about common pain points you had in the old setup, and make sure that you do not make the same mistakes this time around.

While some are dreading the return to the office, if you follow this guide, your coworkers and employees will be productive and appreciative of all your efforts.

Do you want to build and maintain new habits? Get your free PDF version of the Don't Break The Chain calendar and start today!

Do you want to build and maintain new habits? Get your free PDF version of the Don't Break The Chain calendar and start today!

Author's Bio

Charlie Svensson is a fast, engaging freelance writer skilled in content writing and blogging. The favorite topics of his posts are education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation blogging and self-growth. Charlie’s got an excellent adaptability of skills to reach diverse audiences.