4 Things Employers Must Do When Reopening the Office

Your organization has made the decision: it’s time to reopen the office. This could mean “all hands on deck,” or it could involve a hybrid work environment, but in either case, employees will once again be working at their desks.

For many companies, this represents a major shift after more than a year of mostly remote work. Reopening is one thing; executing it effectively is another matter altogether. Here are 4 things every employer should be doing once the decision to reopen has been made.

  1. Talk to your employees. Employee buy-in is critical to the success of your reopening. Ask them: Are they ready to come back? Do they want to return to the office? Is it feasible to do so, given home-schooling and other responsibilities? Even better, send out a short survey to gauge their thoughts. While the decision is ultimately the company’s to make, it is essential that employees are on board if the return to the workplace is to be successful.
  1. Give ample notice. Life has changed significantly since the start of the pandemic, so returning to a previous routine will take some time to prepare for and undertake. At a minimum, employees should receive several weeks’ notice to plan for a return to the office; several months is even better. Employers that show they value their employees by giving them time to get ready will benefit in the long run.
  1. Develop a return plan. This is a great opportunity to get your employees involved. Designate a staff member or group of employees to create and oversee a return plan. Ensuring proper health and safety protocols are in place, along with the ability to enforce them, should be a key consideration in developing the plan. Workers need to feel safe in order to be productive.
  1. Be flexible. While the rising number of vaccinations is providing peace of mind to many, it doesn’t mean cases of COVID-19 have disappeared. Local, state and CDC guidelines are continually changing, which means your office reopening plans may have to be adjusted as events warrant. At the same time, each employee will react differently, with some jumping right in and others being more cautious. It all adds up to a need for employers to adapt as situations evolve.

Requiring employees to return to the office, even if it’s for a day or a few days per week to start, represents an inflection point for employers. Show your team you truly care about them and you’ll keep your best employees, while also building a reputation that will help you attract new ones in the future.

Need assistance creating an office reopening plan that works for everyone? Alaant’s experts are here to help. Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Miranda March Digital Strategist for Alaant Workforce Solutions

Miranda March, Digital Communications Specialist

Miranda has a real knack for connecting the dots between employers and job seekers. She prides herself on keeping a pulse on the national and local hiring markets. In her downtime, she enjoys cooking new foods and spending time with her family. A little-known fact about Miranda is her love of video games, new and old.