How to return to the office safely after Covid-19?

Jan 12, 2022

Planning the return to the office can feel intimidating. Whether it’s making sure everyone can keep enough distance, or that every shared surface stays clean. It’s a big responsibility that can feel overwhelming at times. How do you ensure that everyone can enjoy the office like before the pandemic while keeping everyone safe? Follow these 4 steps, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying some top-notch water cooler conversations from the comfort of your own office. So, wait a minute before spraying your entire office with disinfectant products, let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

1. Calculate your new office capacity

The very first step is calculating your new office capacity in the office capacity calculator, where you can exactly see which workplaces can be used within a safe distance. With the help of this new floorplan, the hard work starts.  To make sure everyone only uses the designated workplaces, you need to find a creative way to nudge people in the right direction. Let’s start with removing all the chairs and screens from desks that we are not going to use. This way there cannot be any confusion about the availability of desks. The easier we make it for our colleagues, the better they’ll feel in the office.

2. Facilitate hybrid meetings

While it’s great that we can meet in the office again, that doesn’t mean that we can all be in the office at the same time. Hybrid meetings will be the norm, but how do you facilitate this new way of collaboration? Start to arrange all your meeting rooms with a video conferencing set-up and make sure that the camera can capture the entire meeting room, you don’t want your colleagues at home to feel left out. Then you can look at your office to see if there is a possibility to create a call-friendly area. Your colleagues can sit behind their desks while attending an online meeting at the same time. You can choose to work here and be sure that your all-day call schedule won’t disrupt the office. Pretty awesome, right?

3. Take care of all your employees

Times have been tough; dinner tables have been recreated to home offices and the walls truly started to close in. While being able to come back to the office is great, don’t forget your colleagues who may not feel quite comfortable coming in yet. Our goal is to make sure that we have the happiest and healthiest office, even when we work from home. Surprise your colleagues with a small gesture, let them know that they are valuable and that you miss them. A nice bar of chocolate with a handwritten note can truly make the difference. Sometimes, that’s just the little boost that they need.

Employees who haven’t had to budget for train tickets, takeaway coffees or new office outfits for the past two years are now extremely aware of how much it costs to spend a day at your desk – another reason to make sure your employees feel they will get value out of going to the office.

Read more about how employees are coming to terms with the sky-high cost of returning to the office.

4. Make data-based decisions

So, you’ve rearranged your office, showed appreciation to all your employees, and facilitated hybrid meetings, what’s next? Make sure to keep an eye on your analytics dashboard. You will see how you can optimise your renewed capacity by increasing the shift quota or assigning your eager colleagues to a different access profile. This way you can spread the office visits rather than stressing about those pesky popular days. Practice makes perfection, try out different things, and find out what works best for you.

Plan a safe return to the office 

Mapiq’s technology, available in South Africa from Cataly5t can help you make conscious decisions based on real data. Planning the return to the office has never been so easy. Are you ready to rethink what a smart office can do for you? Book a demo with us today to discover more. 

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