The work-from-home concept has changed how many employees do their job, communicate with team members, and so much more. This new lifestyle became the norm in 2020 due to COVID-19, and organizations had to make quick adjustments while not disrupting the workflow. Some states are lifting indoor capacity restrictions and beginning to have employees return to the offices in recent news. As companies get ‘back to normal,’ will the flexibility of processes and protocols stay in place?
As recently reported by Eden Workplace, 85% of office workers are looking forward to returning to the office in some capacity. Before companies fully transition employees back into the workplace, it is essential to review and consider processes that need to be updated to reflect the new environment and culture, such as workplace etiquette, professional wardrobe, and employee health and safety. What may have been implemented within the last year may not be acceptable now, so companies will have to address simple return-to-work formalities. Below are a few reminders of topics to evaluate as we enter this new concept of working back in the workplace.
· Workplace Etiquette
Workplace etiquette has transformed due to the drastic changes faced within the past year. As workers swap from kitchen counters to office desks, employees and management may need a friendly reminder of standard workplace advice, such as greeting clients or colleagues, arriving at least 15 minutes early to prepare for the day, and building and sustaining a teamwork attitude.
· Office Fashion
For some professionals, 2020 was the year of leisurewear for workers. Depending on the industry and culture of the workplace, it is a good idea to follow the attire mentioned in the employee handbook and dress to impress.
· Interviews/Meetings with Clients
Retaining an image of professionalism is always recommended when conducting or attending interviews and meeting with clients and team members. Whether these encounters occur in-person in face masks or virtually, being punctual, taking the initiative and exhibiting a positive attitude is always crucial.
· New and Improved Health Policies
As vaccine dissemination surges and businesses are solidifying plans for employees to return, executive leaderships are creating COVID-19 policies and procedures to increase the health and safety of workers. Although the individuals are getting the vaccine, COVID-19 safety guidelines for workers will continue to be implemented for the time being.
The health pandemic is expected to have along-lasting impact on individuals and corporations. With individuals working remotely for almost a year, it is essential to improve collaboration to get back to business successfully. Clearly outlining expectations and being transparent of new protocols when returning to the office will strengthen the employee/company relationship and ultimately build trust.