Many businesses are finally returning to the office as employees are vaccinated or comfortable with working in person again. It’s critical to be sensitive during this transitional period, and it’s a good idea to plan ahead for your first day back at the office. How can you make sure that your employees are comfortable and your office is safe for their return?

Focus on Health and Safety

Your top priority, even if your employees are all fully vaccinated, is to focus on health and safety. Make sure that that office is completely clean before everyone returns. This will refresh your building and get it ready to be inhabited again, particularly if it has been vacant for over a year. Make sure that you have supplies that promote hygiene around the workplace as well, including things like hand sanitizer, tissues and soap.

Remind Workers of Your Policies

Before the first day back at the office, it’s a good idea to remind workers of the policies that are in place. If they have a fever or feel sick, they should stay home and not come into the office. Make sure every employee also understands how to notify the business of needing to stay home or call out. Remember that positive COVID tests can still occur after vaccination, so employees should stay vigilant and be responsible. 

Support Mental Health

If you haven’t already been doing so, before the first day back at the office you should take care to support your employees’ mental health. Transitioning back to the office may be challenging for many, so if you have any benefits available you should ensure that they know how to get help and access it. Sending out a company-wide email detailing local mental health hotlines, therapists that are covered by your health benefits and free meditation apps is a great place to start.

Get Back to Normal

Finally, make sure that your office is ready for work in time for the first day back at the office. Respect that coming back from such a long, stressful period will not be like flipping a switch. It’s a good idea to be flexible with hours or transition to a partially remote environment that allows for versatility.

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