In the tumultuous wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, contemporary businesses find themselves at the dawn of a new era, marked by the transition from remote working to a gradual return to the office.

This metamorphosis, driven by health imperatives and socio-economic upheaval, raises several questions and considerations about how organizations approach this return to the office. Beyond health imperatives, this change is part of a redefinition of work paradigms, putting the foundations of working life to the test.

So, how do we go about it? What are the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing companies in this quest to reconcile the imperatives of safety, employee well-being, and organizational performance? Find the answers in this article!

1. Reorganize your spaces for a peaceful return to the office.

It’s no surprise to anyone that companies have to adapt and reorganize their workspaces to get their staff back on site.

This strategic reorganization of workspaces is now imperative to instill a new dynamic within companies, particularly in the context of the gradual return to the office. Much more than a simple adaptation to health constraints, this approach is of substantial importance in galvanizing the enthusiasm and motivation of employees to return to the office.

Now, workspaces must no longer be mere ‘functional frameworks’ but essential vectors of corporate culture and employee well-being. The meticulous design of these spaces is a timely opportunity to create an environment conducive to professional fulfillment and intellectual stimulation.

Promoting ergonomic layouts, stimulating collaboration zones, and carefully designed relaxation areas demonstrate the company’s commitment to the holistic development of its teams.

Consequently, the possible actions & measures are diverse. For example:

    • The definition of a building occupancy rate.
    • Booking offices by the day, half-day, etc.
    • Reserving workspaces (meeting rooms, callboxes, etc).
    • Setting up a rota for the days each team is present.

However, for the person in charge of this task, it can quickly become very time-consuming without the help of a dedicated tool.

Workplace Management software, more commonly known as ‘desk booking,’ is now a strategic asset for companies wishing to reconcile organizational flexibility with the well-being of their employees. Based on the technology and proactive workspace management, this system offers a series of crucial advantages that deserve careful consideration (optimized use of space, increased flexibility for employees, easier management of social distancing, various strategic planning data, etc).


2. Adapt the cleaning teams’ interventions.

No doubt, disinfecting and cleaning workspaces represents a significant cost for companies, but one that is essential. On average, the cost of disinfection per m² of office space is estimated at between €1 and €1.50, excluding VAT. So the budget can climb very quickly for a company with several hundred square meters!

In other words, they knew which spaces were occupied and which were left empty, meaning that only those spaces that need to be disinfected can be cleaned. As a result, cleaning costs can be considerably reduced.

3. Listen to your employees.

The most important thing is to listen to your employees. What’s more, the Covid-19 crisis has had an impact on the way they organize themselves and the way they work. Today, it is essential to communicate with them. The company must, therefore, understand their concerns about returning to the office and their needs and reassure them. This means being available for them and answering their questions. Their arrival on site must be as stress-free as possible.

Moreover, the company needs to be flexible and, over time, reacclimatise its employees to a smooth return to the office. For example, by using the Smart Office. For instance, it can set up a team attendance schedule. Each team will have a set number of days to come in. This will also help to recreate the problematic social links to maintain at a distance and unite the teams by bringing them together. In this way, it will naturally regulate the occupation of the offices to respect the occupancy gauge. As a result, the company avoids having to shuffle teams around! At the same time, it allows better traceability of any contact cases.

4. Re-motivate your staff!

In the same way, employees work in a climate of uncertainty and sometimes see their activity slow down. Whether they have already returned to work or are still teleworking, managers need to reassure their teams to motivate them.

For example, by implementing actions such as :

    • Empowering employees to get them more involved in their tasks.
    • Improving internal communication by creating working groups.
    • Complimenting employees and recognizing their value to increase their efficiency and productivity.
    • Be transparent about results to inform employees about the current situation. This will encourage them to work even harder if the results are poor and, conversely, to keep up the momentum if the results are positive.

5. Offer flexible working arrangements.

Recognizing the diversity of individual situations and offering flexible solutions is essential. Some employees may express the need to continue working remotely, at least in part.

The introduction of flexible policies, for example, allowing periodic teleworking or personalized management of working hours, demonstrates the company’s ability to adapt to the aspirations and constraints of each individual!

In conclusion

In short, providing employees with attentive support when they return to the office is a far-sighted and inclusive approach that embodies the company’s commitment to its human capital. By offering a desk-booking tool, psychological support, encouraging flexibility, and promoting overall well-being, the company lays the foundations for a successful transition and a return to work marked by harmony and cohesion.

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