While not every company is returning to the office, those of us that are stepping out of our home offices and heading back into work could be experiencing a range of emotions. From a sense of anxiety about heading back, to the pressure of getting the building ready for employees to return, there are a few things you need to think about before reopening your physical business office to workers, or even the public.
Check Your Insurance Policy
First things first, it’s important to take a look at your insurance policy, providing it is still valid, and ensure that it covers everything you need it to cover for returning to the office. This includes ensuring that you have an up to date Public Liability Insurance policy and that your Employer’s Liability Insurance covers both in-office staff and at-home staff if you will still be offering work from home flexibility. You may also need to check that the insurance covers any changes in staff numbers present in the office and any changes to your business activity. Updating your Office Insurance can also ensure that you have the right cover for the right situation at your business.
Communicate With Your Staff
Whether you’re already in the midst of moving back into the office, or it’s still a move you’ll make at a later date, communicating with your staff at every step of the way will not only allow them to prepare to go back but can give you better insight into what they’d like to see change, to make them feel more comfortable. This could include anything from social distancing in the office or wearing masks as you move around the building, to whether they’d prefer to have remote working as a flexible option in the future. By finding out this information, you can better form a plan for returning to the office that works for everyone.
Have a Clear Plan
Following on from the point above, having a plan will make the transition easier for the whole company. Think about the job and the situation your company is in – is going back to the office your best bet right now? Could your staff stagger their return? How many people would you comfortably like in the office at any one time? Thinking about these things and planning the return accordingly can help ensure you and your employees are comfortable and ready to get back to work.
Get The Office Ready First
In order to make the transition a smooth one, it’s best to get the office fully ready before you invite staff to start coming back in. This means moving desks where needed, replacing equipment if required, cleaning the office from top to bottom and setting everything up for daily use again (e.g. kitchen, bathroom etc.) Once this has been done, staff can comfortably return and resume their work without having to worry about the basics they were used to before or setting things up for themselves.
Be Ready To Adapt And Change Rapidly
As we all know, things are still changing rapidly as a result of Covid and as a result, it’s important that you’re ready to change and adapt as needed. While a plan will help you get back to the office, flexibility can make it easier to change things around the office as needed, whether advised by official departments or pointed out by staff members looking for something to improve comfort and safety in the office. Taking things one step at a time and adjusting as you go can ease you, your employees and your business back into normality with as few bumps in the road as possible.
Check In With Staff Regularly
Finally, it’s important to remember that your staff are more than just a workforce – they are all individuals who have been working home for what may have been the past 18 months and returning to work isn’t as simple as just doing it. In some cases, it can mean getting childcare, care for pets and completely changing their new daily routines.
Anxiety, stress and even just tiredness can all play a part in how your employees handle returning to the office so it’s important to check in with each of them regularly. Even just an email to ask for any updates or ideas in making things comfortable can go a long way to ensuring each and every person has a healthy and productive return.
If you’re unsure whether your existing office insurance policy is still valid for your office and employees, we are more than happy to help. All you have to do is get in touch with a member of our team and we can walk you through the process of checking your policy, as well as help you find an alternative that matches your business and its needs, perfectly.
Contact Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.