5 Steps to Ensure a Smooth Return to Office (RTO)
At the start of the pandemic, millions of workers worldwide were forced out of the office and back into their homes, where they spent the next several months sitting at their home computers, answering phone calls, and participating in Zoom meetings. However, with the advent of COVID vaccines and a steady decline in cases, workers gradually began making their return to the traditional work environment. Here are five key steps that leaders should be aware of to ensure a smooth return to the office (RTO).
1. Allow For An Adjustment Period
Many workers that have spent the past two years working from home have gotten used to performing their job duties remotely. Leadership should be sensitive to the transition and allow for a generous adjustment period. For instance, you might start pulling people back one day a week and gradually increase the number of days they’re back on-site over time.
It might also be good to experiment with flexible schedules, allowing workers to work from home in the mornings and spend afternoons in the office. There are several ways to make the adjustment period easier on your teams, so it’s essential to get a feel for what people want and what type of work model they’re most comfortable with.
2. Get Your Tech In Order
After months or years of working remotely, transitioning back to the office can spell trouble if the proper protocols are not put in place. After working on their personal office equipment for so long, employees may not feel equipped to return to on-site tech. You should work with your IT department to do all that you can to make this adjustment as seamless as possible and ensure equipment reliability.
To prepare your tech systems for RTO, Teksetra recommends a few critical steps. First, communicate your plan to your teams and get everyone on the same page. Then, optimize your workplace for social distancing as much as possible and implement health and safety tools. You should also perform network maintenance and update cybersecurity training, among other things, to get your technology up and running to pre-pandemic standards.
3. Be Transparent About Safety Measures
Those returning to the office after a prolonged period of working remotely may have safety concerns. As an organizational leader, it’s crucial to ensure that proper safety measures are adhered to and workers are informed on what you’re doing to keep them safe, even as the pandemic wanes and more people return to on-site work.
Forbes encourages leadership to be open and transparent with employees about what they’re doing to curb the spread of the virus and allow for flexibility where it’s warranted. It’s important that employees feel safe when returning to the office and can make the transition in a way that’s comfortable for them.
On the first day back to the office, it may be helpful to walk employees through a tutorial or orientation of new safety measures and make time to answer any questions they might have.
4. Explain Your Decision
If you’ve decided to return to the office, you likely have good reasons for doing so. However, these reasons may not be immediately apparent to employees, which is why it can be good to back up your decision with hard data. Show them how and why you’ve made the choice to bring people back to the office and why it’s a good thing.
5. Leave The Door Open To Remote And Hybrid Work
If all else fails and you struggle to get enough people on board, you may want to consider offering flexible work options permanently. According to a recent Harvard Business Review survey, 81% of workers polled did not want to return to the office or would have appreciated a hybrid model where they would work in the office some days and remotely on others.
Remote and hybrid work may well be the way of the future, so leaders should keep an open mind about alternative work models and be willing to make compromises where appropriate.
Teksetra Can Help With The Transition!
After working from home for so long, the transition back to the office can be challenging for everyone involved. Workers are having to adjust to new safety protocols and learn how to get tech up and running again. Whether in-office or remote, Teksetra offers end-to-end technology solutions to allow for a seamless transition. Reach out today to learn more about how Teksetra’s solutions can help make your RTO process as painless as possible!
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