As the virus spreads through our populations and restrictions start to ease, we will see a gradual return to the office for workers. This can be a long and challenging process for many companies, and employees may have mixed feelings about future changes. We’ve written a guide to help you plan a smooth transition that balances your business needs with your employee’s well being, leading to an efficient and safe process for everyone.
Please note that health and safety regulations regarding the spread of COVID-19 are constantly changing. Please refer to the WA Government website for the most up to date advice. You can find information for employers managing the virus at work here or resources for employees preparing to return to work here.
Strategies for a smooth transition
Social Distancing at Work
Limiting physical contact between people through social distancing measures - maintaining at least a 1.5m distance, is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease.
These measures can be achieved in the office by providing your employees with options to prioritise their personal space. An alternative is to stagger or rotate teams in the office to minimise the risk of spread. Take into account the different levels of face to face interactions that may be required, as some roles or teams can work remotely with more ease than others. Before their return, identify high traffic areas such as kitchens or lifts and consider putting maximum occupation rules into place. You may need to adapt the office layout or create simple maps and signage to direct employees. You can also think creatively about meeting rooms and collaborative spaces. Central Park customers can hold team meetings in our conference facilities, to expand their space, which boasts a theatrette and large boardrooms all equipped with audiovisual.
Flexible Working Options
Your employees may feel mixed feelings about transitioning back to the office. For some, it may be a welcome relief to ease the challenges of working remotely, while others may feel apprehensive about their health and safety. A gradual transition with flexible options may help to combat these feelings. This strategy will allow employees and management to work out what is best for their individual needs. For example, employees may wish to change their working hours, so they do not commute on public transport during busy times. You can assess your team's working styles and collaborative needs to help guide this decision making.
Hybrid working is an increasingly popular model that allows people to work flexibly in different spaces. You can learn more about incorporating hybrid work into your business here.
In addition to providing flexible working options, providing a positive experience can help to ease varied reactions to this transitional period. Understanding the unique situations that your team members face due to the pandemic should be considered alongside your business goals. There are also personal health concerns that may significantly impact people's wellbeing during this time. Support employees through different wellbeing and mindfulness programs. Central Park customers can access a variety of events and facilities that will benefit both their bodies and minds. You can discover the wellbeing activities we currently have on offer here.
Re-connect your team
Long periods of working remotely can lead many people to feel isolated and disconnected from their peers. For many teams, considerable time may have passed since everyone has seen each other face-to-face. The opportunity to collaborate and socialise will help to bring everyone back together in harmony. Providing employee engagement options and spaces for collaborative working and social events are great ways to bond. Consider holding an off-site meeting or team building event at our Park to re-connect your team in a different setting. Social distancing can be easily achieved, and everyone can benefit from the fresh air.
Provide clear communication
Once you have formalised a plan that balances team member expectations with business goals, an effective communications strategy is required. A reassuring and empathetic approach may be necessary, and employees should have an opportunity to voice their concerns and questions. Choose the right messaging strategy for your individual business needs, and give your team time to adjust and plan accordingly. Your transition plan should include any health and safety protocols that must be adhered to in your workplace, including those mandated by the Government. Consider also including information about the cleaning and hygiene measures taking place and any risk management or contingency plans. Be clear about the expectations and the timelines that will be followed.
Re-connect at Central Park
We are committed to supporting the health and safety of everyone who walks through the doors of Central Park. From handwashing support and cleaning practices to health services and air and water quality monitoring protocols, we’ve implemented a range of measures so customers and visitors alike can work, collaborate and connect with confidence.
Want to be a part of the Central Park community? Enquire about our leasing availability here.