Last week, the IRS started returning 10,000 employees to do mission-critical work. For many business leaders, their mission critical work is making money to survive. Truly, it can’t come soon enough, but is your office ready for the return post COVID-19?
Now that we have adjusted to the WFH routine of conference calls, tuning out distractions and swapping PJ’s for sweats, the time has come to start planning the return to the office.
As with any change in the business environment, there will be costs and opportunities. You may need to adjust work schedules and provide hygiene safety procedures and supplies. But while the office is still empty, take advantage of a great opportunity to make changes that will improve efficiency, collaboration and revenue generation.
With planning and proactive preparation, the return can be smooth. Yes, uncertainty still reigns. But having a plan will help workers return not only feeling safe but confident in the future of the organization and working at full speed for customers.
What to do to get ready for the return?
Assuming things go well, and we can start sifting people back into the factory or office, what will you be implementing to make the work environment safer? And what steps will you take to keep employees feeling safe about their return? Aside from wearing gloves and masks and working from home when possible, what will you do?
The email sent by the IRS requires recalled employees to report to work with their own protective gear. Although you may be seeking to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, like the IRS, you may come up short and be forced to require employees to bring their own when they report to work.
Many companies are offering products and solutions to help. For example, an indoor geo location company offers to help protect your workforce and implement contact tracing. Another offers strict safety and cleaning procedures to keep the office safe as employees return.
Establish Standard Safety Procedures
An important place to start is to assign responsibility and establish standard operating procedures for ongoing hygiene and safety. Make the people you assign responsible for carrying out government recommended procedures like handwashing stations and procuring supplies such as facemasks and hand sanitizer.
Depending on your location, standard safety procedures may include:
- Employee Health Checks – Daily front-door temperature checks and screening for symptoms to ensure that returning employees are fit to work.
- Ongoing Workplace Cleaning – A regular schedule and records of cleaning and disinfection at intervals recommended by the CDC or your local government.
- Sourcing Necessary Hygiene Products – Act now to ensure that your office has a dependable supply of hand sanitizer, face masks and other items that might be required.
- Adjusted Schedules – Consider a compassionate approach with measures such as allowing employees to continue to work remotely or to use public transportation during non-peak hours.
- Regular Communication – Increase employee awareness of government safety requirements, CDC health recommendations and mandatory safety steps.
Productivity Improvements to make the office ready for the return
The quiet period before the return is the ideal time to update your IT infrastructure and make other changes to enhance productivity. During Hurricane Sandy we made improvements to our space so that when staff returned, we were better off than before the great flood.
Those efforts included rack work and cable cleanup. We put in a conference room, rearranged the office layout and more. So, review your list of ideas and future projects to identify the best ones under the circumstances to improve operations.
Consider the following improvements:
- Migrate to the cloud with Microsoft 365 for remote work
- Conference room and conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams Certified phones
- Cameras for desktop stations (people have been using their laptop cameras)
- Headsets to enable walking around on calls
- Redesign of office space to optimize for safety and smaller initial staff
- In-office security cameras
- Desktop Plexiglass barriers
- Voice-activated light switches
- Remote worker performance monitoring software
When it comes to making IT improvements under trying circumstances, our staff of experts is ready to assist. We founded this company weeks before 9/11. Quickly, we adapted to be in the business of helping our customers survive and prosper during difficult times.
Post COVID-19 Revenue Enhancing Changes
Most importantly, consider what your customers will need in the post-COVID-19 world and how you can provide it. Before your return, talk to a lot of customers to get ideas and suggestions on how you can modify your offerings to better fit their needs. Also consider what new products and services you can provide.
Change creates opportunity. Be ready and positioned to fill the gaps.
eMazzanti is ready to innovate. We are dedicated to helping you make your office ready for the return to increase your revenues as quickly as possible.
If you have a situation or problem you need to solve, our team has the experience and the knowledge to help—be it in the office or at point of sale where it must be rolled out to multiple retail locations. Tell us your pain points and we’ll help you figure it out. We’re in this together.