It isn’t difficult finding articles and suggestions on managing the return to work in the post-COVID environment. However, it’s not likely that have you found protocols that are tailored to your workplace specifically. Assembling a task force of trusted advisors is key to the successful execution of communication and change management style to allow a safe return for your employees.
As we all make our return to the “new workplace” our behaviors and interactions will need to adapt to ensure the safety of our colleagues. Our LOTH team has relied on our leadership, design team and in-house change management practitioner to communicate what our new normal will look like. We’d like to jumpstart your thinking with a checklist of the steps we’ve taken leading up to our own return:
- Survey your associates: check on their feelings on RTW
- Assemble your Task Force: a good sampling of your company to make sure you are covering all the bases
- Set your end goal – how thorough do your guidelines need to be?
- Add signage to support your protocols
- Train your associates on your playbook
- Keep it fluid – this is evolving, be prepared to adjust when needed
Our HR Director surveyed our entire team to get a gauge on how everyone felt about returning to work along with what their struggles have been and what needs they may still have. Virtual meetings have been arranged to ensure clear communication on new protocols when returning to our Work Studios along with providing digital copies of our Return to Work Playbook. We created instructional and directional signage with our brand in mind. Alarming, bold and strict messaging isn’t aligned with our culture. We opted to stay on brand and blend new signage into the space as much as possible to maintain our friendly vibe.
Our leadership team at LOTH has been in constant communication regarding our return to the Work Studio. Our HR Director has dedicated much of her time to staying current on regulations and protocols around keeping our employees safe. The IT department is ensuring that our employees are able to continue to work remotely as well as collaborate with those returning to the office. The design team has been making adjustments to furniture configurations within our spaces to ensure proper distancing between workstations. They’ve also partnered with our change management practitioner on creating signage to place throughout the Work Studio to clearly communicate the occupancy changes in meeting areas as well as friendly reminders to sanitize common areas after use.
Hear more from our Creative Lead and Human Resources Director on our Return to Work Playbook.