With over 275 million doses of coronavirus vaccines administered, many companies are already opening their doors to employees who worked from home when the pandemic started. While some employees may not be keen on returning to working on-site, others can’t wait to go back to the office after struggling with productivity when they worked at home.
At this point, companies should make sure to prepare the office and their employees for working in an office environment. To do this, companies can implement several measures to safeguard the health of their employees, especially if they are not yet fully vaccinated. Here are some measures companies can implement in preparation for on-site work by their employees.
Recognizing Employee Needs
Companies should recognize the needs of their employees. First and foremost is their need to feel safe. So, companies should look for agencies providing office deep cleaning services. These agencies can thoroughly clean the workplace, focusing on high-touch surfaces where the risk of virus transmission is high. These surfaces include doorknobs, phones, light switches, and computer keyboards.
Companies can also actively encourage employees who are sick to stay home. They should also conduct health checks and prevent employees who appear to be sick from entering the worksite. Companies can also implement social distancing measures, including setting up partitions between desks.
They can also provide hand sanitizers and masks to their employees, if necessary. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines allow fully vaccinated adults to forgo mask-wearing, they still have to follow local, state, and federal laws.
Hybrid Office Model
Companies can also follow a hybrid office model where some employees can work remotely while others work on-site. A recently conducted study revealed that around 54 percent of US employees are concerned about working on-site.
While providing employees the option of working at home or the office is ideal, it also has some challenges. For instance, office meetings will flow smoothly if everyone is working on-site. Issues that may emerge if one or more members of the team are working remotely. These issues include internet connectivity and issues with their home computer setup. Additionally, when everyone is working remotely, participation in the meeting is also challenging.
On the other hand, working on-site will cause some employees to feel anxious due to the higher risk of getting infected compared to working from home. In these instances, productivity will suffer and will affect the bottom line of the company.
To remedy the situation, companies can require the employees to work on-site for certain days in the week. Outside of these on-site workdays, the employees can work remotely. It is important to note that some global companies have been implementing this office model even before the pandemic started.
Adding Physical Locations
While this option can be costly at the start, it can also increase the employee base of the company. Opening offices in different parts of the state can encourage employees to work on-site if the office is close to their homes.
It can also allow companies to reduce the office space they are renting for the original location. This can benefit companies who have main offices located in high-rent areas. When they open other locations, they can look for places where the rent is not quite high.
Companies can even save on payroll costs if they base salary on the cost of living in specific areas. If the cost of living in one location is lower, they can adjust the salary of new employees. But companies should avoid alienating their employees in case they make these adjustments. They can also pass the savings on office rental to their employees to avoid affecting their morale.
If the company opts to allow some employees to work remotely, it should maintain a personal connection. While these connections may not be the same as passing doughnuts to celebrate a big win for the company, it can hold virtual parties where remote workers can participate.
The manager can also send food to the remote worker’s home so that they will be in a celebratory mood while everyone in the office is having a great time. While this may take some effort, it can pay off in the future as the company will continue its positive office culture where everyone joins in big occasions for the company. Companies can make adjustments to make their office cultures suitable for the new work environment after the pandemic ends.
Even as more companies have started to open their worksites, they should make the necessary preparations to keep their employees safe and ease concerns about working on-site.