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Compliance | 5 min

The office return: 10 things you should consider

The office return: 10 things you should consider

All from our HR Community.

It feels a bit like the end of an epic movie with HR as the main character. We’re coming back to a new world of work. Except we’re missing our Master Yoda to guide us.  

It’s strange, like revisiting a childhood home to see the new owners have renovated it. Familiar… but completely different. That’s what the office has become as we stage our return with the shutters of lockdown rolling back up. 

If you’re like any of the 150+ HR teams in our community, you may be wondering: “How do we do this?” No one prepared you for the workplace post-pandemic or the office return. To help you with this, we put together some considerations our community is making. 

Here are 10 things our community is considering:

  1. WFO only when necessary
  2. Team-based returns
  3. Prolong Remote Work
  4. Sanitation stations
  5. Use-based cleaning
  6. Maintaining Distance
  7. Physical set-ups
  8. Limit-room Capacity & Office Maximums 
  9. No Visitors
  10. Regular communications

 

  1. WFO – Only when necessary.

There is the temptation for all us craving social interaction to come back to the office. But the current situation is still uncertain. We’re seeing HR teams considering their own restrictions around an office return to ensure it is only when necessary (eg. inadequate remote set-up). Why run the risk if you don’t have to?

 

  1. Team-based office returns – full teams only.

As our CEO Rob says – “Collaboration happens either when everyone is in the same room, or no one is.” 

When staging office returns, we’re trying to keep teams who work together… together. Whether that be in the office, or a zoom-room. This makes sure no one misses out.

 

  1. Keep the office shut

Lockdown laws are easing, but perhaps you shouldn’t. Many HR teams in our community are prolonging remote work if possible, keeping the office shut entirely. Removing the option and the risk. 

  1. Sanitation stations

Dispersed throughout your workplace, with a mandatory sanitise upon entry policy. Think hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial wipes, paper towel and most importantly, some easy to understand instructions. (try using an image of people washing their hands) 

 

  1. Use-based cleaning

You use it, you clean it. This includes work stations, shared spaces and any office kitchenware.  

 

  1. Maintaining Distance – 1.5 m

Distancing rules still apply in the office. Whilst we could all use a hug, enforcing distance is part of HR’s obligation to keep their employees safe. 

 

  1. Physical Set-ups

Increase the physical distance between workstations and say goodbye to hot-desking.

 

  1. Limit room Capacity and Office Maximums

To keep our people safe, we are limiting the number of people in the office and in each room. It’s easy to forget maintaining a physical distance. Creating forced distancing is a great way to safeguard your people. 

We’re trialling these limits:

  • 1 person per 4 square metres.
  • 1 person in each small room
  • 2 people in each mid-sized room

 

  1. No Visitors or external parties

You can keep your people safe with your policies and office returns. But you can’t ensure visitors follow the same rules and understand your precautions. To protect your team it’s safer to continue holding all external meetings via zoom and not the office meeting room.

 

  1. Regular communications and feedback

Keep your people physically separated but emotionally connected. Regular communications and feedback are important in keeping the cultural workplace together. Communication is the glue. Especially during this increased period of isolation. 

Our HR community automates its employee feedback. So no one ever forgets to check in on their team. Plus, HR leaders can see in a click who needs immediate attention with our wellness analytics. Sound interesting? You can find out more here.

 

I know returning to the office can be confusing. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to answer them. You can ask us in the pop-up chat window in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

 

 

Compliance | 5 min
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