Four Changes To Implement In Your Post-Pandemic Office
Throughout the past year, employees continuously adapted to the “new normal” the COVID-19 pandemic introduced and proved just how resilient they could be through the work from home and social distancing guidelines set in place across the world. Now, as many organizations are beginning to plan their return to in-person work, transitioning back into pre-pandemic life is proving to be difficult for some individuals. In fact, recent studies suggest the pandemic will increase levels of social anxiety and health-related anxiety for many individuals, even if these issues were not a concern prior to COVID-19.
Before you welcome employees back into the office, it's important to take these concerns into account and recognize the changes that must be made in order to ensure all employees feel safe and welcomed in their workspace. Not only will the following practices aid in easing the minds of everyone returning to the office, but they can also boost employee productivity and lead to a positive company culture.
Add new sanitation efforts to the office
It’s safe to assume employees returning to the office do not want to be greeted by March 2020’s abandoned coffee cups or forgotten office plants. Let employees know there is a fresh start to their new days in the office by performing a deep clean of the office before the big return. For even more protection, install hand sanitizer stations throughout the office and frequently clean commonly touched areas. No-touch technology can even be added to doors, sink faucets, and light switches to protect employees not just from COVID, but from other common illnesses as well.
Introduce employee cohorts and flexible schedules
For employees that haven’t seen each other in well over a year or even new employees that haven’t been able to properly meet their own coworkers in-person, (re)entering the office can and should be an exciting time. However, reopening your office to 100% capacity right away might not be the best idea. Instead, create employee cohorts that will have designated days for in-office work or encourage a hybrid schedule for employees to choose their own in-office days. These arrangements could be done initially to ease employees back into office life or even become a permanent solution to promoting a healthy work-life balance.
Bring WFH life to the office
Throughout their time working from home, employees may have developed new work methods of their own that help them stay productive and remain focused on work. Encourage employees to bring these practices into the office when appropriate. This could mean a change to the dress code — whether every day or on select days such as a casual Friday, flexible desk and seating arrangements, taking short breaks throughout the day, or even introducing a “bring your pet to work day” incentive. All of these practices can help employees feel more comfortable in the office and increase their willingness to work.
Rethink your hiring process
A reported 1 in 4 employees are planning for a job change after the pandemic. Whether it's for new benefits, the convenience of remote work, or the need for career advancement, employees want change. This means it's not enough to just prepare for employees that are returning to the office, but it's time to think about future employees as well.
Not sure where to begin? Contact Nexus today or sign up now for a complimentary job market analysis. With this free resource, you’ll receive a complete guide to improving your hiring process — from what potential candidates are looking for and where your company stands against the competition, to specialized recommendations to succeed in the fast-changing job market.
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