After well over a year and a half of going in and out of lockdown, Ontario has officially entered Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen. So what does this mean for businesses and short-term office rentals in Mississauga and Ottawa?
As always, businesses will be expected to make some adjustments to ascertain a safe and smooth transition during the reopening process. With that in mind, here are seven tips to help you manage returning to the office post-lockdown.
Update the Office Rules
Read through the new government guidelines carefully and make sure that you update your office rules of conduct accordingly. Ensure all employees are on the same page. Send out a mass email or virtual office memo to inform them of the new or updated office procedural rules and regulations. If possible, try reaching out to your team individually and let them know that they can come to you if they have any questions or concerns.
Only Bring Back Essential Staff Members
If some people are capable of working remotely or from home full-time, give them the option to do so. As long as they remain productive and are submitting high quality work, then there’s no need to ask them to come back into the office if they’re not comfortable doing so. Some employees might also prefer to operate on a hybrid work schedule that allows them to split their time spent working from home and at the office.
This method limits the number of people at the office at any given time and makes it easier for employees to maintain social and physical distancing in tight spaces even after lockdowns are lifted. Remember: just because the lockdowns are over, that doesn’t mean the pandemic is. Until everyone is fully vaccinated, some of your employees might feel more comfortable continuing to work from home.
Be Flexible and Compassionate
The past 18 months have been incredibly tough on everyone to varying degrees. Everyone has had to make tremendous adjustments to their work-life balance to make things work. Try to be flexible and exhibit some compassion in regards to your employees’ needs and well-being.
Adopt a digital-first policy that allows some of your employees to work from home. Empowering employees to make this choice for themselves strengthens their loyalty to your company and motivates them to work harder and to excel at their jobs. Happy employees are a great asset to your business.
Focus on Digital Hygiene
During the pandemic, many companies have been forced to take the majority of their operations online. The first few weeks of returning to the office, whether it’s on a part or full-time basis, will definitely take some getting used to. Your IT department will be hard at work reconfiguring the office digital infrastructure to accommodate all of the employees that have been working remotely this entire time. It’s important to get your corporate network in good shape before employees start returning back to the office. This will make it a lot easier for them to settle back into their old workstations and ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.
Executive office space rentals in Mississauga typically come with fully functional IT departments that can offer a wide array of digital and technical support as needed.
Prepare for a Number of Staff to Stay at Home
While it’d be great to see all of your old employees in the office again, you should really prepare for the possibility that many of them will prefer to continue working from home. Aside from getting accustomed to this new normal over the course of the pandemic, many people have realized that they simply don’t have to physically be in the office in order to stay motivated and productive. In fact, statistics show that productivity amongst employees working from home has gone up 47%. Remote employees also report that they spend about 10 minutes less per day being unproductive or getting distracted by things like social media than they would at the office. Plus, the cost and time savings of not having to commute into work on a regular basis are hard to ignore.
Of course, these stats don’t necessarily apply to everyone. There are still some people who prefer to go into the office every day and see people at the office. Others need a balance, which is why hybrid work solutions exist.
Reconfigure Your Office Space as Needed
As per the new guidelines provided by the province of Ontario, face masks and coverings will still be mandatory in indoor shared spaces where physical distancing isn’t possible. This includes break rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and other common areas. Fully vaccinated employees will be allowed to choose whether or not they want to continue wearing masks and face coverings. Still, it’s important to reconfigure or redesign your office space to accommodate the comfort and needs of all employees. Provide frequent hand sanitizing stations, encourage employees to wash their hands frequently and sneeze into their elbows, and maintain a two meter distance between workstations.
Provide Additional Support as Needed
The road to recovery after a long and difficult year is arduous. Everyone has their own way of handling the collective trauma that was endured. Be patient with your employees as they relearn how to integrate into society. Provide additional physical and emotional support resources to those who need it and create a judgement-free work culture that allows everyone to thrive and work comfortably.
Short-Term Office Rentals in Mississauga and Ottawa
Nobody knows what the future holds. In November of 2019, no one could have possibly predicted the tremendous impact the novel corona virus would have on the global economy and citizens. Over a year and a half later, we can easily say that hindsight is 20/20 and there are plenty of things we would’ve done differently.
Signing a long-term office lease is just one of the many mistakes that business owners now regret. Given the current state of the world, it’s better to look into fully furnished office spaces for rent in Mississauga or Ottawa to help you get back on your feet. At Innovative Professional Offices, we offer so much more than just office spaces. We also provide exceptional business support and virtual services to help keep your business going. Contact us to learn more.
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