The office environment is not the same after COVID-19 as it was before, for many reasons, and it likely will not get back to exactly as it was before. The coronavirus pandemic has left many businesses looking to establish a new normal to resume operations, and precisely what that looks like will vary between organizations.
Establishing a Path to Your New Normal
Perhaps you are transitioning workers slowly back to the workplace over the summer or even into next year. Alternatively, you might be looking at a hybrid model, whereby some employees work from home while others work at the office. Alternatively, you may prefer they spend part of their time at the office and the remainder at home.
Exactly which plan you have will likely come with its share of obstacles and anxieties, both for you as the employer and your team. Among your chief responsibilities is to help your employees succeed in the new normal, whether they are based at home, the office, or both. When your staff feels safe and has a sense of job satisfaction, then they are more likely to be productive and stay on in their current role.
The next question is, how do you cultivate a company culture that is productive, healthy, and safe for your team during this stage of the pandemic? Here are three steps to encourage your team to success:
Provide a Home Office Allowance
For those who will continue to work from their residences, it’s important to recognize that they may not have an ergonomic workstation there. Thus, consider providing them with a stipend to buy a keyboard, desk, and other equipment to establish a healthy office space at home.
Otherwise, they risk having physical health problems, such as back pain, as well as mental health issues. This investment is part of your goal to promote productivity and happiness.
Reconfigure the Office
Employees who are returning to the workplace want to feel safe and know that the recommended safety guidelines about the pandemic are in place there. Physical distancing is a must, as are established office guidelines on increased sanitation and mask-wearing.
To create a workspace with more personal space than before, you may have to reduce the number of workstations in the office. As well, consider using mobile desks that provide an affordable way to allow employees to move to a quieter part of the office, if they prefer, and easily form new configurations.
Another option some companies are pursuing is hoteling or scheduling use of desks. The ability to reserve a desk for the days they are the office can encourage collaboration while providing you with a way to transition to a hybrid model as your new normal.
Your employees may assume that they need to be tethered to their desks to get work done. However, that’s not necessarily true as sitting in a chair for hours without a break gets uncomfortable, not to mention mentally exhausting.
Thus, encourage a flexible working environment that provides workers with the flexibility to tackle deadlines where they feel comfortable. They will appreciate being able to customize their workspace and, in turn, use their time effectively.
Become more remote-friendly by using Talcura’s suite of innovative tools for onboarding as you welcome employees back to the new normal. Communicate new policies and guidelines that help your team feel safe, stay healthy, and be productive.