Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath will be one of the greatest business challenges of our time. To keep operations running and minimize risk to employees, most companies have adapted new ways of working that have left their offices, factories, shops and other facilities relatively empty.
In this regard, management teams have the primary responsibility for determining how and when to begin the complex task of returning to the workplace, taking into account the evolution of the pandemic and possible government restrictions.
But the boards of directors also play a role. To fulfill their essential supervisory duties, they need to understand the problems their executives are focused on solving, while charting a course to take their workforce from crisis to recovery. This will allow managers to correctly carry out planning in internal communication and with users, as well as possible contingency plans (teleworking) when they return to the office.
1) Develop A Strategy To Reopen The Workplace
- Focus on people, productivity and the way you work.
- Determine who should return to the office and when.
- Consider implementing technology to track critical events that can affect business transition planning and plans.
- Develop a manual for reopening the workplace, paying attention to how employees feel.
2) Manage The Health And Safety Of Employees Returning To The Office
- Use the data as a guide.
- Develop an employee-monitoring plan to help address and mitigate illness in the workplace.
- Model a plan to return to the office by stages and type of work (not dates).
- Consider the use of behavioral predictors to analyze health risks.
3) Lead Change To Return To A Safe Workplace
- Be guided by objectives, optimism and commitment to employees and customers.
- Allow the board of directors to understand the problems that department managers and supervisors are trying to solve.
4) Operate Under The New Demands Of The Return To Work
- Adapt to new situations as sanitary and / or governmental conditions change.
- Accelerate digital and remote ways of working.
- Maintain focus on security updates.
- Find cost-effective ways to improve core operations, such as a managed services approach.
5) Rethink Facilities, Technology And Workplace Safety
- Consider how and where employees work.
- Plan training on new safety measures for workers returning to the facility.
- Assess the real estate footprint and identify where costs can be reduced.
- Accelerate digital adoption.
6) Build Empathetic Corporate Policies And Cultures
- Be sensitive to the situations that team members face.
- Focus on the well being of employees.
- Understand the needs of workers by improving active listening and aligning company policies in relation to them.