Returning to the Office: Checklist For EmployersMay 26th, 2021 by Airedale Cooling
While some offices have remained open or recently returned, a final end of the government’s roadmap is now in sight. This means many businesses are expected to return to their offices, but it raises the question: what do I need to do to prepare my office for reopening? There are new COVID cases still being registered each day, so we can’t go rushing headlong back into the way things were before the pandemic.
This month at Airedale Cooling Services, we’ll share with you a brief ‘return to the office checklist’ of things you can do to prepare your office or commercial premises for reopening post-COVID. This will include practical tips as well as some policies you might want to review based on the turbulent year we’ve all experienced.
- Check Air Quality – Adequate ventilation helps to minimise risk indoors, so have your air conditioning checked and maintained by a professional.
- Deep Clean – Before opening, ensure a deep clean has been conducted to create a sanitised space. This makes hygiene easier to maintain.
- Implement Social Distancing – Ensure that you stick to government guidance on social distancing and enforce any rules you create; some staff may prefer to maintain their distance for some time even post-COVID.
- Provide Hand Sanitiser – Individual sanitiser bottles or strategically placed dispensers will help encourage people to sanitise their hands more regularly and reduce transmission.
Mental Health Considerations
- Regular Check-Ins – Give each staff member regular one-on-one meetings with line managers so they can express concerns or anxieties, giving them a place for their voice to be heard.
- Offer Flexibility – Flexible working, hot-desking and staggered starting times all give staff a sense of control while minimising an overload of people in your office.
- Return to Work Survey – Once people are back, ask them for suggestions and general feelings about their return to work. Here you can address specific concerns and implement any good ideas for your office.
- Communication – It’s vital for staff that they feel valued and communicated with, so ensure you share key messaging with everyone, with regular updates on what you’re doing to keep people safe.
General Office Admin
- Review Visitor & Meetings Policy – If you hold meetings or welcome visitors, implement a limit on the numbers of people based on the space you have and the office capacity.
- Update Your Fire Risk Assessment – If staff levels have changed or the usage of parts of your building has altered, update your fire risk assessment to highlight any changes needed.
- Signage & Instructions – Print and share any instructions on new office policies – banners and posters in key areas will help make everyone aware.
- Implementation & Training – Spend time training staff on new regulations for your office or simple things like one-way systems so that’s clear to everyone.
- Infection Control Policy – Introduce infection control policies to your employee handbook so that you’re prepared for any similar events in future.
We hope you find this office checklist for employers useful. The most important thing when reopening your offices is that staff feel safe and comfortable. Not only does this come from following the latest government guidelines, but it also comes from listening and communicating with your employees, and acknowledging that things will feel strange for some time before settling back to normality.
Professional Air Conditioning Maintenance Post-COVID
If your air conditioning hasn’t been used for long periods, or if you simply want to check you have proper air conditioning to heat, cool and make your space comfortable, look no further than Airedale Cooling Services.
Our experienced engineers provide air conditioning maintenance for offices and call centres across West Yorkshire – including Bradford, Wakefield and York.