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Returning to the Office? Here are 4 things you should know before you go

The decision to return to the office after working from home is a difficult one, for the safety of yourself, your employees, and your clients. Whether this be a choice you are making now, or, in the foreseeable future, you need to be prepared for it. COVID-19 is still among us, and planning for re-opening may seem stressful, but you can use the following steps to ensure that your office is clean, safe, and organized as you plan for re-opening:

 

   1. Start by Creating a Plan for Social Distancing

Before anyone steps foot into the office, you need to have everything locked in place for how your team is going to be socially distant. In a perfect world, we all have giant offices with individual offices for each employee, but this simply isn’t the case for many small businesses. At the very least, desks need to be 6 feet apart. As we are learning amidst the pandemic though, social distancing indoors is completely different than outdoors where air is not circulated. Keeping employees as far away from one another as possible is key. For shared spaces like reception areas and conference rooms, consider visual reminders like taping markers to remind employees to maintain proper social distancing.

In addition to this, deciding how you will mandate PPE (personal protective equipment) for everyone in the office will also need consideration. Will you be requiring employees and other personnel in the office to wear masks and gloves at all times, or only while in the presence of other employees in shared spaces? Once you have your plans set, the key for success is working with your team to ensure proper instruction and training is available to them so that everyone is prepared and on the same page about what you expect from them.

   2. Stock up on certified cleaning supplies

The beginning of quarantine shocked a lot of people with no stock in toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other cleaning supplies. Things are somewhat better now in terms of procuring these necessities, but delays and backorders are still occurring. Making sure your office is heavily stocked with PPE equipment and proper sanitation supplies from a good vendor is important. We recommend using Digital Gadgets Medical to get all of your protective equipment and supplies. You can also reach out to them at covid19ppe@digitalgadgets.com

   3. Invest in Healthcare Technology

In times of despair like this pandemic, innovation does prevail. Healthcare and technology have joined forces to create devices which are helping businesses continue to work while preventing any spread of the virus. Businesses are beginning to use non-contact temperature assessment devices. These are thermometers which use thermal imaging and infrared technology to determine a person’s temperature without having to make contact with them. These thermometers can be used at office entryways as an initial check for employees coming into the building. This temperature check triages any people who have higher temperatures and may have COVID-19 symptoms from coming inside your office and infecting others. Contact us at info@rcsprofessional.com for more information regarding procuring your own Thermal camera.

  4. Keep Track of Hybrid Working

To keep offices less congested, many businesses are favoring hybrid scheduling for their employees - meaning having just some people in the office and some people remote. Keeping track of who is in the office, and on what days, can be hectic. After all, you are used to having everyone in the office regularly pre-pandemic. To keep track of scheduling and keeping everyone in the loop, we recommend Bookings, which is available through your Microsoft 365 subscription with RCS. This software allows you to merge your O365 subscriptions, by integrating company calendars and emails to give an accessible view for everyone to know who will be in the office on which days. 

The road ahead will not be easy, but there are things that you can do to ensure that you are prepared. Focusing on the health and safety of your employees is a priority. Instilling them with confidence and reassurance as they return to the office will be the most important thing you can do for your company along with taking proper precautions, planning, and keeping an open line of communication.

For any questions to assist in bringing your remote work back to a physical office, please contact us at info@rcsprofessional.com

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