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The COVID-19 pandemic forced many business owners to adopt a completely new approach to how they do business.
With strict government restrictions in place at various stages throughout the Coronavirus crisis, many employers moved to a remote working setup, with all of their staff working from home.
While some businesses have embraced the new work-from-home concept, others are excited about finally getting back to the office. However, to ensure that the transition back to the office is as smooth as possible, it's important that you have a plan in place from the outset.
Not only will you need to prepare the office space, inform your customers and support your employees through the transition, but you will also need to make sure that you have the right systems in place to manage your business effectively moving forward.
For example, your team could benefit from a timesheet app to help them to return to a normal work schedule and to monitor their work hours with ease.
Or, you may choose to offer assistance to any employees that are struggling with the move back to working in an office setup.
Whatever approach you decide to take, it's important that you focus on the well-being of your team to help them to get back to normal as soon as possible when your office reopens.
Let's take a look at just a few ways that you can prepare both yourself and your business for returning to the office.
Follow government guidelines
Whatever government guidelines might be in place where your business is located, be sure to follow them closely.
When your team returns to the office, they will want to feel safe. Installing sanitisation stations throughout the workplace, putting up signage, encouraging the wearing of facemasks if appropriate and maintaining physical distancing will all help your staff to feel more at ease when they come back to the office, ensuring your business remains productive and minimises downtime.
Communicate with your team
It's important that you give your employees as much notice as possible about returning to the office. Your team might need some time to adjust to the idea of being around a lot of people again in a confined environment.
The more time they have to process the idea of coming back to the office the better prepared they will be for the move.
In the weeks leading up to the transition, be sure to hold a team meeting to inform your staff about any procedures that will be in place and to answer any questions or concerns they might have.
Inform your customers
Whether you will be welcoming clients to your office right away or not, you should still take the time to update your customers about the move.
Good news is always welcome these days and your customers will be excited to hear that you are returning to the office.
Even if you are not meeting clients face-to-face, you are now one step closer to this happening, which is certainly news worth sharing. Send an email update, post on your social media accounts and put a notice on your website to let the world know that you are back in business.
Prepare you and your team for a successful return to the office
Moving from a remote setup back to the office can be a challenging transition, especially after so many months of working from home.
To ensure that your team is ready for the move, be sure to follow the tips above. With the right approach to returning to the office post-COVID, you can ensure that you and your employees will be ready to thrive in the "new norm".