The health crisis we have been experiencing for more than a year now has changed our habits, both personal and professional. In 2018, 3.4% of the US workforce currently worked-at-home half-time or more (Global Workplace Analytics’ analysis).
Kate Lister, the president of Global Workplace Analytics, has forecasted that about 25% to 30% of the workforce will be working remotely, for several days a week, by the end of 2021.
Today, companies are faced with a major challenge: to prepare for the return to the office of their employees and to accompany them while ensuring the health safety of all, despite the current risks we know.
1. Reorganize your spaces
Unsurprisingly, companies must adapt and reorganize their spaces to get their employees back on site.
The possible actions and measures are diverse:
- Defining a filling rate for the building,
- Closing certain shared spaces,
- Condemning one office out of two to open space, corpoworking spaces, hot desking areas, etc.
- Spacing of workstations,
- Reserving offices,
- Setting up a rotation in the days each team is present…
For the person in charge of this mission, it can quickly become very time-consuming without the help of a dedicated tool.
2. Adapting the interventions of cleaning teams
Disinfection and cleaning of work areas represent a significant cost for companies, but one that is essential. On average, the cost of disinfection per m² of office buildings is estimated at between €1 and €1.50 excluding VAT. For a company with several hundred square metres, the budget can therefore rise very quickly.
Knowing which spaces were occupied and which were left empty makes it possible to disinfect only those spaces that really need it. Cleaning costs can thus be reduced considerably.
3. Listening to your employees
Probably the most important thing is to listen to your employees. The Covid-19 crisis had an impact on the way they organise themselves and work. It is essential to communicate with them. The company needs to understand their concerns about their return to the office, their needs, and reassure them. This means being available for them and answering their questions. Their arrival on site should be as smooth as possible.
The company must be flexible and get its employees used to coming to the site again over time. It can set up a team attendance schedule. Each team will have set days to come. This will help to recreate the social link that is difficult to maintain at a distance and to federate the teams by bringing them together. It will naturally regulate the occupation of the offices in order to respect the filling gauge. The company will thus avoid mixing teams, which allows better traceability of possible contact cases.
4. Re-motivating your employees who return to the office
Employees are currently operating in a climate of uncertainty and sometimes see their activity slow down. Whether they have already returned to the site or are still teleworking, it is essential for managers to reassure their teams and employees in order to motivate them. Because they need to be reassured about the health measures in place.
To do this, it is necessary to :
- Inform : Fake news is very common during a crisis, so it is important to provide teams with concrete and clear information.
- Listen : in times of health crisis, some employees may be anxious about the disease and fear for the health of their loved ones. These fears must be detected and heard by the manager in order to reassure them.
- Reward : the introduction of bonuses for their efforts makes it possible to show recognition to the teams. Gift vouchers offered to employees are therefore an excellent way of showing gratitude to employees by rewarding them.
- Co-construct : in order to prove its confidence in employees, the management team must involve them in the construction of solutions by relying on collective intelligence.
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