As more individuals are vaccinated and the CDC loosens restrictions, businesses will likely begin planning for their team members to head back to in-person work. What is your company's plan for this transition?
Reverie offers these helpful tips:
Communicate with employees before finalizing your return to in-person work.
Consider sending out a survey to gauge your team members’ willingness to return to work in-person. You should expect team members to be hesitant on returning to in-person work and have talking points ready to address common concerns such as childcare, employees who are or live with/care for an individual with a higher-risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, or employees exposing their unvaccinated children to COVID-19.
Assign a member of your team to be the point of contact for any questions or concerns related to returning to in-person work. All company communication should come from this individual.
Emphasize the benefits of returning to in-person work such as increased collaboration and connection with colleagues.
Comply with all local, state, federal, and CDC guidelines regarding returning to work and capacity limits.
Create a return-to-work plan that complies with all the guidelines and addresses employee feedback and concerns as well as the business needs.
Possible return-to-work plans can include a fully in-person work plan, a hybrid plan, or a fully remote plan. In both the fully in-person work plan or the hybrid plan, you might consider slowly bringing team members back into the office on a tiered schedule to ease the transition.
Effectively communicate the plan to all team members at least one month in advance of the plan going into effect. Get team members excited about the “new normal.”
Encourage team members to speak to the point of contact, HR representative, or another member of the management team to discuss alternative plans for individuals with legitimate and individualized concerns of returning to in-person work.
Don’t undo the efficiencies created during the pandemic. For example, when it makes sense for meetings to be conducted remotely, continue doing them that way. If nothing else, the pandemic did allow us to create efficiencies and time-saving work habits. Those efficiencies should remain a part of your new normal.
Remember this is a transition for all team members. Be patient. Be willing to adjust and make changes as you go, and most importantly, make this transition fun and welcoming for everyone!