What to keep in mind
Even with significant changes to how we work, companies with thoughtful re-entry strategies can enjoy increases in productivity and innovation
As businesses begin to safely return to their offices, we recognize there are many ways to approach re-entry, with no universal playbook to reference. At JLL, we are focused on moving into the next normal safely and productively.
Even with significant changes to how we work -- like wearing face coverings, limiting meetings and safely distancing our workspaces – companies with thoughtful re-entry strategies can enjoy increases in productivity and innovation.
Learn to adapt
While devising your re-entry strategy, maintaining frequent and open communication with your team is vital. Hearing this employee feedback enables your organization to know how to balance comfort and productivity with health and safety measures. It may also reveal challenges your company wasn’t anticipating.
To abide by social distancing requirements, some of our employees are working someplace other than their prior workspace. When surveying our Boston office, we discovered that workspace customization was a concern for some looking to return to the office. Having resources available for these people to still customize their space – such as providing a monitor someone was accustomed to using – has helped people feel more comfortable in their workspaces which in turns helps their productivity while in the office.
Find new ways to collaborate
To still foster collaboration in our larger spaces where you can safely socially distance, we have clear and abundant signage throughout the office on how to abide by safety measures. Directing movement around the office and adjusting people’s habits when it comes to social interactions in larger spaces are challenges we expected. Establishing understandable signage that shares how to abide by social distancing and other restrictions has been a great help (and reminder) to ease our employees into this new environment.
Since there is no one right way to approach re-entry, it will take some trial and error when forming your return strategy. No matter how many webinars and trainings you employ, there will still be a learning curve for people when it comes to expectations, they’ve grown accustomed to in the workplace .This is especially true when recognizing the need to accommodate employees who continue to work remotely. Teams must continue to be flexible and use technology as a tool for collaboration as well as culture building.
Notice the little things
As your office re-populates, you may be surprised to learn how much seemingly minor things affect the comfort and safety of your team. For example, finding a way to provide coffee or to allow use of the office refrigerator safely can have an outsized impact on an employee’s comfort in the space. An abundance of supplies, so that nobody has to go far for extra sanitizer, wipes or a spare face covering, can put people at ease. Further, if you can do it safely, replicating even the smallest things from how life in the office used to be goes a long way to easing the anxieties many may feel upon re-entry.