BP: Return to Office

RETURN TO OFFICE

5 TIPS FOR THE TRANSITION

As companies begin actively planning reentry of employees who’ve been temporarily working from home, communication about how exactly that will happen is critical. Don’t postpone communicating because plans are still in flux; It’s fine to say you don’t yet have all the answers and that the answers you do have could change. As in any change management situation, employees want to be kept in the loop.

Here are five thoughts on what you should be communicating:

BP: Return to Office

1. TALK ABOUT THE TIMETABLE

Don’t wait until you have a firm date for returning to the workplace. Share leadership’s thoughts on time ranges and what measures they’ll be reviewing as they make a decision on timing. Employees will want time to prepare, emotionally and logistically, for the transition back to working on-site. Let them know that heading back to the office is out there on the horizon, somewhere.

BP: Return to Office

2. TALK ABOUT BUILDING SAFETY

Whether your company owns its buildings or leases office space, employees will want to know what building management has done to prepare for people returning to work. Share details on plans for the new normal, from limiting the number of people in elevators, to increased fresh airflow in the HVAC, to asking employees to pay for meals in the cafeteria with cards instead of cash.

BP: Return to Office

3. TALK ABOUT SHARED SURFACES

Although no doubt the janitorial staff will regularly sanitize shared surfaces in public spaces, that cleanliness may last only until the next person presses an elevator button or runs their hand along a stair rail. Share any new building policies, like keeping the doors to stairwells or parking garages propped open, and any recommendations for personal habits, such as wearing washable or disposable gloves.

BP: Return to Office

4. TALK ABOUT LIMITING PROXIMITY

Share any structural changes that have been made to the office space, such as rearranging desks or workstations to maintain greater distance between employees. Explain how staggered start times or workdays will be implemented so that teams that most need to work face-to-face will be able to be in the office at the same time. And remind employees that maintaining social distance is a shared responsibility.

BP: Return to Office

5. ASK EMPLOYEES FOR INPUT

Employees will differ in their eagerness to return to the workplace. Some will be craving the social interaction of the office, and others will be reluctant to come back before they know all danger has passed. Give employees a way to share questions, concerns and suggestions. Encourage managers to talk with their teams, but also offer at least one channel direct to corporate.

HOW CAN WE HELP?

If you’d like to see Tribe’s capabilities presentation, please reach out to:

Steve Baskin

President and Chief Strategy Officer

404-256-5858

tribeinc.com