As lockdown restrictions start to ease up, more and more offices are considering going back to work. If you are considering this then you need a back to work plan.
The reason you need a comprehensive back to work plan is because there is no such thing as "going back to normal".
The "new normal" is here and we all have to adapt to it.
Here is what you need to consider when creating a clear back to work plan.
In order to organise a plan, you need to put a team together; organise people from different departments and have them work together. They should discuss what they need to do to ensure safety for their department as well as the company as a whole. If you are a smaller company and don't have multiple departments, then your management team needs to be the one in charge.
As you start to construct your plan you need to take into consideration Government guidelines. Covid-19 hasn't gone away so you need to take the correct precautions, as advised by the Government, to ensure maximum safety. You can find the guidelines here
Phased Return to Work
Although you may want everyone back in the office, you may not be able to have them in all at once. To ensure that you are practising health and safety, consider phasing your employees in. Consider who is essential and who can still work from home and bring them back into the office environment slowly. It isn't an ideal situation but it is the most realistic and, more importantly, the safest one.
Flexibility is Key
When making your plan you need to be flexible. Covid-19 hasn't disappeared which means the idea of "lockdown" hasn't disappeared either. Stability is going to be replaced with flexibility over the coming months. Government guidelines could change again if there is another spike. So, when you are making your plan factor in that the Government guidelines are ever-changing. You need to state to your employees how going back to work will alternate based on Government updates. Your document needs to be something that can be changed and adapted with each month if the situation calls for it.
Preparing the Office
In your document, you should clearly outline how your office will look when your staff return. Workplace health and safety should always be at the forefront of your office environment and now the importance of it has amplified. Be clear when you communicate the differences in the office environment to your staff. For example, in our back to work document, we have included graphics of the office layout and how it will look with the social distance rules in place. Including graphics into your document will help your employees to visualise what social distancing in the office will look like.
Ensure your Employees safety
Your document should include a clear message to your employees that their safety is your priority. The aim of the document should ultimately be about easing any concerns your employees may have about returning to work. When you outline the precautions and measures you are taking, you need to communicate that they are being put into place for your employee's sake.
Covid-19 still exists which is why you need to consider how you can make the safest work environment possible for you and your employees. A back to work plan allows you to exert control over the situation and makes sure that you have put the correct measures in place to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.