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After the quarantine, things will return to normal (or whatever the new normal will look like). The compulsory stay-at-home laws will be repealed and some other restrictions will be lifted making a return to regular work for many employees across the USA and the World the next logical thing to do.
It is therefore highly important for businesses to make proper plans for a reintroduction to life in the office. These back-to-work plans must ensure safety for the workers, encouragement for them as well as profitability for businesses. Failure to do so can prove dangerous to the health of the workers and the business itself.
Not all businesses can be profitably operated through remote working, and the return to normalcy is a breath of fresh air for such organizations.
But how can this transition back to office life be carried out in a safe yet productive manner?
Ways to return to work after the quarantine
Reconfigure office arrangement: When work resumes, businesses still need to follow social distancing and hygiene regulations that were effected during the pandemic. The work environment will have to be reconfigured to accommodate the new reality. Office seating arrangements will need restructuring. Companies may consider using transparent shields to divide office desks. Also separating entrances from exits at workplaces to keep social distancing laws in effect will go a long way in ensuring the safety of workers and customers.
Ensure proper management of employee numbers: With the "6-feet distancing" regulations in place, normal office activities won't be as they were pre-Covid-19. Most workplaces won't accommodate all their workers at the same time. It is only wise to create an effective arrangement for rotating employees' work days. Ensure that the rotation is done in such a way that every arm of the business is still run effectively while worker distancing is still in check. Rotation will limit the risk of spreading viruses in the workplace because the more workers there are in the office at any given time, the higher the chances of contracting the virus. This mean that there will have to be a lot of shifts going on in different offices. Employees need to always be aware of their shifts on time so as not to cripple business activities. Managing employee numbers may mean that some employees will have to lose their current jobs and they will need to find work elsewhere.
Continue some remote work: After the lockdown is over, it is advisable to carefully consider every role and decide if some activities can be carried out remotely at least for some months. Some companies will prefer to maintain remote working due to economic reasons while others may be forced to return to the work-from-home life of Covid-19 especially if they are located in high threat areas or if a worker suddenly contracts the virus. After careful consideration, work that can be carried out remotely should remain that way for some time because going back and forth between working centrally and working remotely can take a heavy toll on the business. It is therefore advisable to keep both options open in case of any unforeseen eventualities. A good communication system will be highly beneficial to keep businesses running smoothly in this situation.
Restore workplace motivation: A lot of things got changed when the world was hit with the virus. And due to the fact that many employees have been away from their places of work for a long period of time, restarting the office work life may be somewhat unsettling. Also, staff members may never see some of their colleagues again. It is important that business leaders maintain an atmosphere of positivity in the work environment to ensure maximum productivity. Management needs to attend to the concerns of employees in a sensitive manner especially during this period. Businesses need to be more human than ever before in relating with team members to get the best from them.