When can I go back to work at the office? This is a question company leaders and HR professionals get asked a lot right now, and the question is certainly on their own minds as well. Working at the office can make co-operation easier and also revitalize the struggling businesses that often rely on office workers using their services during the workday. Here’s a list of guidelines on when to go back to work.
What to consider when returning to the office?
1. Follow the local guidelines
Countries, counties or cities all have their info on the most recent recommendations for remote work, public transport and other public places. It’s important for companies to follow these guidelines on when to go back to work and keep notifying their employees on any changes or plans.
2. Go only when you’re healthy
We all also have a personal responsibility towards our co-workers to only go back to work when we’re healthy. Don’t go to the office if you’re
- Having any COVID symptoms. You can read what the symptoms are from WHO webpage
- Have been in contact with someone who has COVID or suspects they might have it
- You’re in quarantine or have been travelling abroad
It’s also important to let your employer know if you have visited the office and have any symptoms are are tested positive.
3. When it’s safe at the office
It cannot be denied that people need to feel safe at their workplace. That’s why no one should be expected to return to the office if they feel that not all necessary safety measures for COVID have been taken into account.
Does your company have a back to office plan?
Many companies have had great COVID guidelines in place for those who have not been able to work remotely. Now, companies will need a return to office plan to make sure all their employees are safe.
This plan can include things like:
- Every other table available for seating
- People limits in meeting rooms
- Time limits when a room can be used again after the previous use
- Recommendations to wear a mask
- Enhanced cleaning
4. When it’s safe to use public transport
If you use public transport for your commute, you might want to consider if it’s safe to use them, since trains and buses can often be crowded with people, and there’s no guarantee that everyone will abide by the COVID guidelines.
Wearing a mask and avoiding peak times are a good idea when going back to work by public transport.
5. Perhaps you’ll go back to the office only part-time
Not everyone is going back to work at the office full time after COVID. Several companies all over the world have already announced that they will allow more flexibility on working styles by allowing the hybrid model of working, for example. The hybrid model means that people work part-time at the office, and part-time at their home, or other remote working space of their choosing. This would allow companies to ensure that not too many people are at the office at the same time, safe space and allow their employees more choice depending on their working style. At the same time, people could create some needed human connection at the office and collaborate more easily with their teams.
In conclusion, when is the right time to go back to work?
There’s no one clear answer to the question ‘ When can I go back to work at the office? In short, it depends on both the local guidance of your country and area and what your employer has planned. In addition, you need to make sure not to came to the office if you have any symptoms or have been in contact with some who has.