Back to Work After COVID-19: Your Video Guide to Transition Back to the Office

Read Time: 4 minutes

After weeks of waiting to hear news about the pandemic and what it means for our future health and careers, we can all let out a small and VERY CAUTIOUS sigh of relief. The rate of infection from COVID-19 has slowly and steadily been decreasing around the world (thank goodness) allowing many companies to go back to the office.

Now in order to keep this trend going, restrictions on citizens and businesses are being lifted in a very slow and careful manner.

What does this mean for business owners and their employees?

How can companies, that were so quickly forced to create a remote work environment, slowly transition their employees “back to work”?

Managing the return of employees back to the office will pose one of the biggest business challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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There’s a secret to making the “back to work” transition smooth and effective for business owners and their employees: clear, consistent communication –– THAT’S IT. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, workers are simply confused about what they can or can’t do and what they should or shouldn’t do. So if companies provide answers BEFORE the questions come in, then employers can easily avoid confusion, create a sense of calm, and pave the way for a smooth transition back to the office.

Clear, actionable instructions lead to clear, actionable results.

The best instructions are always accompanied by visual aids. That’s why we’re excited to introduce this COVID-19 Back to Work Video Guide! It’s short, it’s engaging, and most importantly, it’s a quick and memorable way for businesses to update employees on government guidelines, relay health & safety procedures, prepare staff for a uniquely different office setup, and create a sense of calm and clarity. Plus, it’s totally editable, because no two offices, or government laws, are alike. So, let’s get started on creating your clear, visual back to the office guide!

Key points to address in your Back-to-Work after COVID-19 Video Guide:

1. The health of your employees is your company’s top priority. 

Photo credit: Anastasiia Chepinska

The last few months may have taken a financial toll on many businesses, from SMBs to large corporations — but this is no reason to rush workers back to the office. It’s important that your employees understand that their safety is the #1 priority. When they do return to the office, let them know that the new setup will be safe, monitored, and in compliance with all the latest government guidelines. 

2. New safeguards and safety measures will be put in place. 

Safeguarding your employees means much more than glass partitions and sanitizer in the office. It involves health-checks before employees leave their homes, enter/exit guidelines for buildings, and training employees to respond to on-site emergencies.

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Examples of safeguards your employees can expect:

  • Daily checks before employees leave the house
  • Signing a survey each day to confirm they are symptom-free
  • Entry/exit checkpoints for facilities
  • Temperature scanning
  • Social distancing rules (currently 2m/6ft apart)
  • Elevator etiquette
  • Personal protective equipment (masks/gloves)
  • Personal hygiene (hand washing)

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Once inside the office, employees should be aware that:

  • Common areas (gym/recreation room) may be off-limits
  • Hand washing and sanitizing is imperative
  • All workstations (desks, conference tables) must be sanitized before and after use

3. There are some new lunchtime rules (Don’t worry, you can still use the office kitchen)

Change is difficult, and one of the hardest adjustments for employees will be change that revolves around beloved lunchtime and coffee traditions. That coveted time that was once associated with friendly banter and stepping out of the office with friends, may now be reduced to social distancing and food delivery.

This is a tough situation and acclimating to it is no easy feat, but if employees are psychologically prepared, this temporary situation will be easier to understand and accept. And hey, there may be a silver lining that comes along with the new pandemic rules.

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Examples of Lunchtime/Coffee break guidelines:

  • Mini-marts are open 
  • Food delivery to the office is encouraged
  • Kitchen items and devices should be cleaned before and after each use

4. On-site health & safety rules

If employees feel ill, especially if they are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, it’s important to follow the clear safety protocols that your company has established and shared. You may want to include:

  • Emergency medical procedures
  • Contact information of each department’s supervisor 
  • Contact information of human resources
  • Availability of on-site medical staff

Returning back to the office with a whole new set of safety protocols can be intimidating, so why not use a friendly invite, full of colorful characters, to break the tension and provide updated information!

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5. Taking personal responsibility 

To ensure the health and safety of everyone at the office, each and every staff member must commit to:

  • Reading and understanding all communications 
  • Self-certifying their health daily 
  • Following the processes and guidelines for social distancing
  • Cleaning and disinfecting their work areas
  • Practicing proper hand washing and sanitizing
  • Coughing and sneezing into tissues or elbows
  • Asking questions if they are unclear about anything
  • Staying home if they experience any symptoms

By following this Back-to-Work After COVID-19 Video Guide  — EDITING it as updates come in, and SHARING these updates with your company — the transition of employees back to the office should be healthy, safe, and smooth! May we all be strong and healthy, no matter where we work!

Stay Awesome!

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Nirel Matsil

Howdy! I'm not actually a cowboy but I'm Super excited to be here, honing in my science background plus marketing experience to help show the world how anything you wish, dream or say, can be made more awesome with Powtoon!

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