Following the Government’s recent COVID-19 updates, many companies are starting to consider opening their offices and helping staff return to work. During this unpredictable time, however, it’s never been more important to start planning ahead so you’re better equipped to ensure your staff are kept safe and your business continues to run smoothly.
Alongside adhering to the 2-metre distancing rule, the new office layouts that have resulted and the need to ensure staff are working on staggered schedules, there are also a few technology-based issues that you’ll need to address before you can return to work safely.
To many, it seems clear that remote working will become the norm in future. Whether that’s true or not, however, it’s vital for many organisations to plan just how their employees will switch between the office and home.
We’ve put together a handy guide to help your business plan for the future including the questions you should be considering and the things you need to get in place before reopening.
Are you ready to open your workplace?
Before you open your office, it’s important to consider how it should be laid out in order to maintain the 2-metre distancing rule. There’s every chance that office layouts (including desks, break out areas, kitchen facilities, printing or other communal areas) might need to be altered… no mean feat in the majority of workplaces! Clearly, therefore, it’s well worth planning ahead before implementing a return to work.
You will need to revisit your office and plan where desks will sit, make sure your team can pass each other safely in walkways, set clear protocols for communal areas and plan how you will adhere to heightened hygiene practices.
Before allowing employees to return to work, you may also need to put a revised work schedule in place, determining when staff will be required to come into the office, potentially introducing a staggered shift system to avoid overcrowding. To adhere to social distancing rules, you may find it necessary to have your employees working on a rotation basis so that there is never a large number of staff in the office at one time.
Have you thought about changing the way you work?
Since the start of lockdown, the majority of UK companies have forced to begin working remotely to a one extent or another. Understandably, this has changed the entire face of Britain’s workplaces. As people begin to return to work, remote working will still be in place (to a degree) and many believe that working from home where possible will become the norm in the future. This means companies will need to adapt and allow their employees the flexibility of working remotely. From scheduling meetings, managing workflow and maintaining access to critical files/information to maintaining strong communication links, there are plenty of processes that will need to be reviewed and updated.
What support do you have for your employees?
If your team is currently struggling to stay connected or work collaboratively, we can advise you on new technology that can help you to re-establish lines of communication and maintain productivity. From advice for employees using Microsoft Teams, to ensuring your company data is secure and offering suggestions on how to improve, the team at E2E can help.
Alongside technical support, it’s also important to support your employees’ wellbeing and address any concerns they may have surrounding a return to work. During such an uncertain time, if you make employee health and happiness a priority by acknowledging achievements, addressing concerns and offering positive feedback, your company will continue to thrive.
Updating your IT and infrastructure requirements
Once you’ve thought about the above questions, you may realise that you have a few IT and infrastructure requirements to resolve before you can realistically reopen for business. It’s best to contact your IT team or management provider and update them any new business goals, plan for infrastructure changes and ensure your staff can continue to work productively and proactively.
Whether you have an in house IT team that requires support, or you’re looking for external managed IT support, get in touch with our team today to discuss how we can assist.
We can help!
We can help you stay up to date with technology that will ensure your business continues to run smoothly when you return to work. From business software, to platforms that will help you stay connected, re-cabling your office space or educating you on the best hardware.
E2E Technologies are a proactive, managed service provider who provide leading IT support to businesses both large and small. Our team are experts in professional, trusted IT support services and can offer you invaluable technical advice.