Is it Time to Reopen the Office? 3 Things Employers Should Keep in Mind

As the number of people receiving COVID-19 vaccinations rises rapidly, organizations are increasingly asking a common question: is it time to reopen the office? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there is one reality shared by every employer – the need to make the right decision. 

Unless there is urgency involved, this determination should not be rushed into. The choice of whether to return to a more typical office environment should be guided by the business case; in other words, what is in the best interests of both your employees and the organization. Here are three key considerations that employers would be wise to keep in mind.

If remote is working, why change it? 

Many offices have gone remote and/or hybrid for the better part of a year, and in most cases, employee productivity has remained steady or increased. In fact, many organizations have identified areas of inefficiency that they’ve been able to remedy, and in the process found better ways to get the job done. If those assessments ring true, there’s no imminent need to shift the workplace. Better to recognize what’s been gained and keep moving forward, rather than returning to the previous system out of a sense of habit.

Listen to your employees

Though COVID-19 cases seem to be stabilizing and vaccinations are climbing, many people still have health and safety concerns regarding a return to the office environment. Rather than forcing employees who might not be ready to do so, employers should be as flexible as possible to accommodate those workers. A “start-slow” approach utilizing a day or two per week, a staggered schedule to minimize office traffic, along with an ability to work remotely as needed are all ways to ease into the return to the workplace.

Keep employee teams together

In crafting a reopening plan – particularly if it includes a hybrid component, at least to start – it’s important to keep employee teams intact. Whether it’s HR, business development, marketing or another department, having all team members in the office on the same day will keep everyone on the same page and working together. At the same time, be sure their managers are also included to ensure clear and consistent communication and direction within each team.

Whether to reopen the office is one of the most important decisions facing your organization, and it’s essential to make the right one. The experts at Alaant can help your company determine the right time, and the right way, to do it. 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.