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5 Steps: How To Plan The Post-COVID Return To Office?


What to Expect for Progressive Reopening of Offices?


The pandemic took us all by surprise and proved to be a great challenge in many ways. There is now a pervasive feeling associated with the pandemic that sometimes things go too fast or too slow at the same time. Opening offices too early can even create real impacts such as anxiety among your teams. That is why, on the basis of national and local guidelines, we have put in place a small guide with a four-phase approach to guide you in the reopening of your offices. The following should be considered for each phase:


Phase 1: The New "Status-Quo"


  • Telework: Most companies have been in this phase since mid-March. Employees are now working from home and only a few essential members are going into the office.

  • Communication: Feedback should be gathered through employee work experience surveys, virtual public meetings to develop a strategy for the following reopening phases.


Phase 2: Essential Workers


  • Essential People Return to the Office: Team members responsible for facilities, equipment and product inventory return to the office and prepare for the return of the rest of the team.

  • Strict social distancing measures: The few people in the office will always practice strict social distancing in common areas, offices and during meetings.

  • Strict sanitation policies: Organizations must have sanitation stations and strict health and safety policies for the entire office. Employees will be required to wear masks when travelling.

  • Remote work first: People who are still able to work from home can and should not return to the office until the second phase at the earliest. At this point, the workplace team will continue to ensure that people are comfortable and productive in their facilities.

  • Decrease in business travel: Minimize business travel. Whether to visit customers, suppliers or other business partners.


Phase 3: The Pioneers


  • Remote work is encouraged: At this stage, the majority of employees who can, should continue to work from home.

  • Pilot Groups: Teams or groups of volunteers will be reintroduced into teams to test new policies and new health facilities.

  • The focus will be on physical distancing and sanitation: In this phase, we should expect a physical distance and systems of cleaning and disinfection of recurrent workplaces to avoid contagions.

  • Pack your bags: Non-essential business travel is picking up again, although many organizations will continue to encourage virtual events and will not encourage personal travel.

Phase 4: The Flexible Majority


  • A mix of office work and home office : Home office will now be an option. During this phase, managers must work with their teams to determine when employees will be able to work from home or in the office.

  • Team Work: As the office will still not be at full capacity during this phase, people who come to the office will use shifts to allow the teams to take turns inside and outside the office.

  • Physical distancing: During this phase, physical distancing and cleaning policies will be more flexible than in previous phases.


Phase 5: The New Normal


  • Full reopening: Everyone can finally work together in the office. Pandemic days are finally behind us and visitors are now welcome!

  • "Business-as-usual": According to national and local health guidelines, organizations will now be able to open offices without any restrictions. Organizations that have reached this phase will achieve this through employee communication and teamwork.


Conclusion


In reality, each business has unique needs, so the transition between each phase is slightly different. However, the following three principles can still be used to guide you in planning your return to the office.


  1. Health rules: What does the management of floor plans in a post-COVID-19 workplace look like in the event of a pandemic?

  2. Communication: What is the best strategy to encourage communication within the company?

  3. Housekeeping & Disinfection: How can office and facility cleaners focus on cleaning in higher traffic areas?


About NetCorp


NetCorp is a Quebec commercial housekeeping company specializing in office cleaning services. We are proud to help our customers through this difficult and uncertain time by guiding you through the best cleaning practices in the industry. We serve the greater Montreal metropolitan area and the regions. Contact us to request a free consultation and quote without any compromise by writing to us at info@netcorp.ca, by phone at 514-559-6935 or through our online messaging system.

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