COVID has been with us so long that it often seems like it will never pass. We’ll be stuck either laid off or in virtual-work purgatory forever. But, eventually, the threat of the virus will pass, and workers will return to their pre-pandemic schedules. When that happens, you’ll have to help your employees readjust to office life.
It might prove a difficult transition. Your workers will have to get used to a new lifestyle. No more wearing secret pajama pants during online staff meetings. No more waking up at 8:50 for a 9 o’clock start. Back to traffic, coworkers, and water coolers.
Despite the challenges, you should be able to conduct a smooth adjustment back to office life. It will just take some planning and foresight. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help your employees readjust to office life following the pandemic:
Recognize a Difficult Transition
You can’t flip a switch and return to the pre-COVID way of doing business. Getting back to normal will take some time. And, it’s important to remember, the definition of “normal” might be completely different in the wake of the virus.
As a result, adopt an understanding spirit. Having compassion will be critical to getting your workers back into office life. At the same time, take individual situations into account and allow leeway for people who might take additional time to get accustomed to an office schedule.
Develop a Plan
Don’t try to improvise a transition. Rather, create a detailed plan to facilitate a return to the office. Start constructing your procedures as soon as possible, so you can make a quick changeover when the time comes.
This program should include steps meant to ease your employees’ adjustment to their new schedules. You should also keep safety in mind. Opening your office won’t necessarily mean all threats from virus will be gone. Even a return to in-person business will require vigilance and continued precautions.
Your employees are your partners in the transition back the office. Start talking to them early in the process. Give them ample warning that a return to in-person activity is coming. That way, they can adjust their responsibilities and coordinate their schedules.
At the same time, listen to your employees. Incorporate their feedback into your plans. With this valuable information, you can make the switch as painless as possible.
Once the COVID all-clear sounds, you’ll be tempted to rush back to the office. Everyone will want to return to the pre-pandemic normal…or, at least as close to it as possible. However, a sudden change might not be advisable (or even possible).
Make the transition a subtle process. Move back into office life in stages, rather than in one aggressive sweep. It will ease the passage back to office life. At the same time, a slow approach will give you time to react to events as they unfold.
As 2020 showed us, nothing is certain. You can execute a perfect transition back to office life…only to have COVID (or some other disaster) force you to retreat. For that reason, it’s important to stay flexible.
Don’t assume any changes will be permanent. Stay up to date with events and respond accordingly.
Returning to office life will be a disrupting experience. It gets easier when you have the right employees. By partnering with a strong staffing agency, like PrideStaff, you can find the perfect workers for any situation.
Contact PrideStaff today to find the kind of flexible, competent team members you need to meet any challenge.