As parents breathe a huge sigh of relief to mark the end of home schooling, much has been done to prepare children for a return to the classroom.
Many schools held virtual on-boarding sessions, while parents were offered tips to make the transition as easy as possible.
So, as businesses across the country prepare to welcome people back to their usual workplace, what lessons can we learn?
Here’s some quick tips to get you started:
Make sure employees are given a chance to contribute ideas on any kind of a return. How comfortable are they about it? How many days or hours would they like to spend in the workplace and what will might need to be done for them to feel safe and prepared?
Don’t expect your people to return to the workplace as if nothing has happened. Follow the example of schools by holding virtual onboarding sessions, creating an app, or office open days, so the return isn’t such a shock to the system.
Can you allow your people to choose how many days they spend at the workplace at least initially and be open to the idea that hybrid working is here to stay? For instance, PriceWaterhouseCoopers made headlines recently by announcing that employees could start and finish whenever they wanted.
It’s never too early to start communicating that the economics of the workplace have changed. Employees and businesses have a new appreciation of the benefits of flexible working on quality of life, productivity, cost and the environment.
Some people will be delighted to be back, others may find it hard, so make sure everyone is catered for and supported. Be understanding and accommodating when people need to adjust their working hours, for instance to avoid rush-hour or manage childcare commitments.
Ensure everyone can return to work with complete confidence that you will keep them safe. Make this clear in your communications, so you remind everyone to respect social distancing and sanitisation rules.
If you haven’t started your ‘welcome back to our workspace’ campaign, start now. Make your communication collaborative, regular and open and use channels everyone can access. In the age of hybrid working, you’ll need to work even harder to make everyone feel engaged.