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7 tips to ensure your employees are confident about returning to work

7 tips to ensure your employees are confident about returning to work
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7 tips to ensure your employees are confident about returning to work
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

With the recent announcements that lockdown restrictions are easing, businesses must adhere to government-led COVID-19 guidelines to facilitate a safe return to work.  With such a large percentage of the population having worked from home for almost over a year now, the idea of heading back into the office full-time is understandably causing many employees to feel apprehensive. Here at Capital Space, we have put together our top 7 tips to ensure that employees are returning to the office confidently.

Be understanding

It’s only natural for some, if not all of your staff to be anxious about returning to a familiar space that will now appear slightly alien. According to research from Bupa Health Clinic, 65% of British workers feel anxious about going back to the office. Managers should encourage employees to express any worries they may have and those concerns must be taken seriously, listening to employees’ suggestions that would help them feel more comfortable and act on them, where appropriate. Here, communication is crucial in reassuring that your employees’ feelings of apprehension are completely natural.

Give clarity

Before returning to the office, ensure you give your employees a clear idea of how the workplace has been adapted to make it safer, as well as any other changes that have been made to procedures. This will help to lower employees stress levels ahead of their return. Be transparent on who has to be in the office and for what purpose.

Invest in employee wellbeing

The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted the physical and mental health of UK employees. According to the Office for National Statistics, more than two-thirds of UK adults (69%) are worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life. Therefore, investing in support for employees – whether that is a helpline to discuss anxieties, counselling support or individual calls checking in – is crucial. Not only will this show that you value your team, but knowing that support is available will make returning to the office feel a lot less daunting.

Prepare the office

The immediate concern for businesses will be how to implement appropriate health and safety measures in the workplace. According to Bupa Health Clinic research, 32% of respondents were concerned about the office's cleanliness when they returned, with 42% concerned about not being able to socially distance themselves. An important aspect of this will be rethinking the layout of the office to prioritise social distancing, flow of people and ventilation. In addition, thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the facilities, as well as providing sanitizer, will help ease these worries.

Blended working

Many companies have realised the advantages of working from home and, in the coming months, many businesses will most likely combine home and office working. Allowing your team the choice of flexible working hours will not only demonstrate that they are respected but will help employees ease back into the office environment after a year off, lessening any worries they might have.

Create a rota

Many businesses implemented work-from-home policies by necessity throughout the pandemic. However, many companies will continue to provide flexible arrangements for those individuals that prefer the stay-at-home environment. If this is the case, creating a rota will help to keep the business organised no matter where the workforce is located.

Readjusting to office life

Remote working has been a welcome experience for many, with 80 percent of employees preferring to work from home. For some employees, adjusting to office life again may be difficult, as it could require a lengthy commute, less time with their families and less job flexibility. Managers must take this onboard and listen to the concerns of their staff, allowing flexibility and communicating clear expectations to them.

With the appropriate procedures in place and good communication with your workers, you should be able to successfully handle the return-to-work process so that all employees return to work confident and happy.

To find out how Capital Space could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 4667 or email   info@capitalspace.co.uk