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Many businesses have been disrupted by travel restrictions and limited face-to-face interactions over the past three months. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to implement work-from-home setups to maintain business continuity. However, a return to regular work is imminent as restrictions are relaxed and life returns to something resembling normal.

Though this may all seem like a triumphant return, transitioning out of isolation may not be as easy as it looks. Returning to offices and shops after so much time in isolation poses unique challenges. It can be risky—even dangerous—if this transition is mishandled. Business owners need to create plans that reinforce the safety of their employees and rebuild morale. Customers must be kept safe but not inconvenienced, walking a fine line for increased customer satisfaction. Here are some tips businesses can follow as they prepare their transition back to work.

Consider skeletal workforce

Requiring the whole staff to be onsite can be a huge risk. The more employees on-site, the higher the risks of transmitting the virus. Business owners will need to manage employee numbers to maintain a safe working environment. Schedule employees’ returns. Create balanced groups in which each department is represented to ensure operations run smoothly and rotate these groups to be in the office every few days or every other week.

Maintain work-from-home-setup

You may be excited to return to your workplace and finally leave that cramped work-from-home setup behind, but don’t scrap your home office just yet. The threat of a second wave of Covid-19 is high, so workers may need to return to their home offices for another lockdown period. This could prove unnecessarily disruptive and damaging to morale if businesses need to re-establish home offices that have already been disassembled. Instead, consider allowing employees one or two work-from-home days every week. This will allow for a less jarring return to the office and preserve familiarity and comfort with remote work.

Adopt changes to the physical workplace

Before reopening businesses, it’s important to follow the guidelines and recommendations of health authorities for social distancing and sanitation practices. Now is the time to rethink your physical office space and adopt changes to meet new expectations. Ensure that employees are seated at least six feet apart. Limit the number of onsite employees and manage the use of shared spaces such as cafeterias and boardrooms. Use transparent shields and dividing desks and maintain cleaning and sanitation schedules for office facilities.

Boost workplace morale

Returning to the office will not be as easy as some think. Employees have been away from their work desks for several months. They may be out of practice with social interactions. Returning may feel unsettling—even surreal—and mentally draining. Keep an eye out for ways to boost morale. Maintain open communication lines so workers can voice concerns. Listen attentively and respond with sensitivity. You can slowly liven up the workplace by promoting achievements, presenting a positive vision of the future, and implementing appropriate team building programs like Zoom trivia. Get creative!

Review infrastructure needs

This is an opportunity for businesses to review their infrastructure and support employees that need to perform their tasks efficiently and productively. Businesses need to utilise effective platforms that will enable employee connectivity and collaboration. Every department should review its operations and identify deficiencies in technology and communication platforms. This will require research and effective implementation so your business can reduce the loss of productivity and sales.

Accelerate your financial recovery

The challenges of returning to the workplace present fresh opportunities for businesses. From stronger collaboration to increased productivity and reinforced health practices, there is plenty of room for businesses to develop and grow. While implementing these changes, look to fresh platforms that will allow you to turn your idle inventory stock and spare capacity into increased sales. From selling old stock to filling up downtime, Bartercard can help you with your transition so you can achieve a fruitful and lucrative return. Become a member today!

Bartercard New Zealand

Author Bartercard New Zealand

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