Freelance Tech Writer for SHP Online and IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

A tech writer specialising in cybersecurity, working with Redscan on this and a number of other GDPR, MDR, and ethical hacking projects.
May 20, 2021

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

return to work

Employer must-dos before inviting staff back to the office

With the lockdown restrictions becoming more and more softened as the weeks go by, many people are now looking forward to having a semblance of normality back in their lives.

Whether it be through being able to see family, friends and loves ones again, or being able to exercise freely once more, there are a number of avenues in which people are starting to feel optimistic about the post-pandemic landscape.

One such area is the return to office life – finally, an opportunity for employees to  escape from having to work on a makeshift home office set-up, or balance home-schooling with arranging Zoom calls.

However, if you’re an employer, before inviting your staff back into the office, it’s important to ensure your workplace has been set up in the right way.

While yes, the lessening of the lockdown restrictions may give newfound freedom to your staff, that doesn’t mean the pandemic is necessarily over – the threat of coronavirus still looms large.

As such, you need to bear the needs of your staff in mind before inviting them back into the office. And we’re here to tell you exactly how.

Clean, clean, clean

Cleaning in progressThe first thing you need to do is clean. Then clean again. And then again for good measure.

While you may be sick of being told to wash your hands at this point, good hygiene is imperative to minimising the spread of viruses and keeping your employees healthy for longer.

The last thing you want, after all, is for your staff to get sick straight away when they return to work. If anything, this could only put them off coming back into the office again in the first place.

So, to keep your work premises clean, here’s what you need to do:

  • Clean the exterior. Impressions count for a lot so, if the outside of your commercial building is looking a bit dirty and scruffy, give it a clean using some of these excellent tips. This will not only set a good impression on your returning staff but during any potential client meetings as well.
  • Clean each desk. Research has proved just how unhygienic desks can be. Whether it be the phone, printer, keyboard, mouse or screen, each of these areas can act as a breeding ground for bacteria. So, give them a wipe before your staff come back.
  • Clear the gutters. Since you will have likely been away from the office for quite some time, it’s important to get the building back to the way it was before. Therefore, make sure to check and clear your gutters of any leaves or debris that might have built up.
  • Clean the bathroom. Regardless of how many members of staff work in the office, your bathroom should be cleaned on a regular basis. Moreover, to keep bugs and germs at bay, it should also be well-stocked with plenty of toilet roll, hand sanitizers and soap.

When are we allowed to return to the office?

Prioritise your workers

In light of the pandemic, concerns over mental health have increased ten-fold, largely due to the lack of contact people have been able to have with friends, family or loved ones. As such, it’s important to bear this in mind before they return to work, putting procedures in place that help them adjust to the transition back into office life.

As their employer, it falls on your shoulders to arrange this. Your workers are only human, after all, so it would be unfair to expect too much of them too soon.

By organising one-to-one chats before they are due to return to the office, for example, or sending around an anonymous opinion-based survey, you will be able to gauge the reaction towards returning to work and then action contingency plans accordingly.

If the pandemic has proved anything it’s that working from home can work. So, if a certain member – or members – of staff would rather work from home full time, consider their needs, work out what the best strategy would be, and implement it on an individually-focused basis.

While the return to office life will sound like an incredibly exciting prospect to some people, it could be the complete opposite for other staff members. So, it’s important to remember that.

Final thoughts…

After months of lockdown solitude, workers around the globe will be enthused by the prospect of returning to the workplace. And, as such, it’s important to have it set up for their arrival.

By following the hints and tips listed above you can do exactly that, ensuring your staff members’ post-pandemic return to work goes as easily, effortlessly – and healthily – as possible.

Get access to five free health and wellbeing webinars live and on-demand: Safety & Health Expo Connect 2021

Design your own schedule of meetings and thought-leadership content at Safety & Health Expo Connect 2021 (sponsored by Dräger & Abbott) 1-30 June. Thought-leadership webinars will cover the benefits of clean air in indoor working environments, the role of gamification in EHS reporting, creating a culture of compliance, and much more. Plus, connect with 300+ suppliers before the end of the month!

Related Topics

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments