For many it can’t come soon enough and for others there are understandable fears, after 6 months of working from home due to COVID-19, we’re now planning our return to the office.
Last month the Prime Minister announced that from 1st August, the Govt “are going to give employers more discretion, and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely. This could still mean continuing to work from home, or it could mean making workplaces safe by following COVID-secure guidelines.”
Here at IT Naturally, we consider ourselves one of the lucky ones who have managed to be successful and grow our business during lockdown. Despite this and productivity remaining high at home, there is no replacement for the office when it comes to working in a team.
Communicating with employees
We canvassed opinion during one of our Microsoft Teams meetings, to find out how every member of staff was feeling about going back. Despite a few concerns and questions, there was an overwhelming desire to return to ‘normality’ and the social aspect of being together in the office once again (despite at a social distance.)
As well as our staff’s feelings though, there are many logistics to consider:
- How many people are we happy having in the office at one time to remain as safe as possible?
- Who do we want in together, members of the same team or a mix?
- We will still have meetings?
- What meeting rooms, if any can be used?
- Can we still use the kitchen safely?
- What happens if someone gets COVID?
And the list goes on….
The post-COVID-19 office will look quite different to the one we left behind In March. With the need to stay 2m apart, we are working with our office managers Haatch, to ensure this happens. They are being very supportive and working with us to make everything as safe as it can be, they will not be letting meeting rooms or individual desks to others when we return.
We will be heading back to the office on 1st September (as long as Govt guidance doesn’t change) and will be operating a flexible working pattern. We are planning to have a rota system in place, with different teams in the office on a part-time basis, with the rest of their hours working from home.
The need for the whole company to be flexible is paramount, we need to be ready to down tools at a moment’s notice if necessary and go back to working from home.
After months working from home, and with the pandemic still changing daily this return is more than a logistical challenge; it is also an emotional time for our people.
It’s important to get it right. Naturally.