Moving Back To the Office
As the world transitions back to a somewhat more normal routine, businesses are considering whether to bring employees back to commercial office spaces. Back-to-the-office attitudes and plans vary by company and, in many cases, by industry.
According to Gallup, as of late May about 45 percent of full-time workers in the U.S. were working remotely. Seven out of 10 of remote workers are employed in white-collar occupations including information technology, media, science and finance.
Some companies plan to continue to have staff work remotely. Others anticipate hybrid models that mix work from home with some office time. Still other companies are intent on bringing back staff to work full-time in offices, much like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preserving Safety and Company Culture
No matter the work model chosen, Forbes offers some tips companies can follow as they bring back workers into commercial office spaces.
Their blog, How to Bring Employees Back to the Office Without Damaging Company Culture, outlines four concepts companies should keep in mind when bring employees back into the office environment.
Create A Detailed Return-To-Work Plan
Returning to work may be a multi-step process, and many employees have concerns about returning to work. A detailed return-to-work plan needs to lay out clear guidelines that emphasize employee safety.
Open and Frequent Communications
Companies need to communicate in advance with employees their plans to bring workers back into the office and be flexible to individual circumstances. Also, frequently communicate new workplace protocols both verbally and in written form in various mediums.
In addition, keep communication channels open. These can include virtual town hall events, using suggestion boxes and reminding employees of open door policies.
Create a Foundation of Trust and Empathy
Take into consideration the unique circumstances some employees may face when the office re-opens, especially regarding child care. Be willing to accommodate individual needs. Human resources also need to update company remote work policies to reflect the new world of work. Adaptation can be a competitive advantage for attracting and retaining talent.
Create Health and Safety Measures
A recent study by VitalSmarts found that only 14 percent of employees believe their company has appropriate safety measures in place to allow the safe return to work. Even with adequate safety measures in place, two of five employees report they feel nervous about contacting COVID-19 from interactions with other employees.
A key to improving employee attitudes is to implement safety measures and promote them regularly. Safety measures include:
- Limiting the number of people in a room
- Providing hand sanitizers, masks and cleaning wipes
- Wiping down surfaces in shared spaces
- Hand washing and sanitizing
- Disinfecting commonly touched objects
Social scientist Joseph Grenny suggests managers and company leaders practice daily rounds for the first 30 days back at work to track and encourage employees follow safety precautions. After the first month, managers can follow up every other day.
Modern Co-working Space at Miller’s Landing
Miller’s Landing in Castle Rock, CO, is preparing for the return of employees to commercial offices. We’re currently considering building a new 150,000 square-foot multi-tenant commercial office building that will offer healthy, safe and versatile work spaces.
About Miller’s Landing
Miller’s Landing is a new 65-acre multi-use business and residential real estate development located in the heart of Castle Rock. When completed, Miller’s Landing includes a pedestrian-friendly town center complete with restaurants, retail and entertainment options. The town center will be supported by modern commercial office spaces, multifamily housing and large tracts of open space with views of the Colorado Front Range.
About Castle Rock, Colorado
Castle Rock is a popular and growing community in the south Denver metropolitan area on the I-25 corridor. The town offers easy access to nearby Denver to the north and Colorado Springs to the south. Castle Rock is consistently rated as one of the best places to live and start a business in Colorado.
Building for Tomorrow
From professional opportunities and entertainment to community gatherings and individual adventures, Miller’s Landing is Colorado’s most exciting place to live, start a business, explore the future and make lasting memories.