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The past year has been a rough one. Many workplaces had to set up work from home positions on the fly to keep their businesses running. Thankfully, the world is slowly coming back to normal, and with it, employees can safely come back to the workplace.

However, it’s going to take a little bit of time to ease everyone back in and make them feel comfortable again. Not only should you worry about you and your employees’ physical health, but mental health as well. If you’re in charge of employees, these are some helpful tips for keeping staff healthy when returning to the office.  

Make a Plan 

This type of situation is new for everyone involved, so it’s crucial to keep every employee in the loop as you make decisions. Collaborate with other senior members to agree on a game plan to inform employees of the return, keep the office safe, and work with anyone who may need to stay remote for the time being. 

Have Sanitation Supplies Available 

Having the right items like hand sanitizer readily available throughout the office is suitable for people’s physical and mental health. Look into buying masks in bulk and having them available for anyone who may need one. Keep sanitation wipes nearby so people can wipe down surfaces whenever they need to. Let everyone know you are prioritizing their wellbeing as they return. 

Be Patient 

The pandemic has been physically, mentally, and emotionally traumatic for many people. Employees will be carrying a lot of stress and anxiety carried over from their experiences, and it’s going to be hard to leave that at the door. Be willing to work with anyone who’s having a challenging time making the transition. Whenever possible, try to have a counselor or HR representative guide people if they need to talk.   

Keep a Rotating Schedule 

A terrific way to ease people back into the office is to stagger everyone’s time at the office. You can have everyone come in just two or three times a week while keeping it remote the rest of the time. You might also want to try using an A/B schedule where separate groups of employees come on select days. That way, you’re never at capacity.  

Clean As Often as Possible 

One of the best tips for keeping staff healthy when returning to the office is to follow proper sanitation guidelines. Wipe down common spaces like desks, door handles, phones, keyboards. Make sure you clean bathrooms on a routine schedule. If you haven’t opened yet, now is also an excellent time to give your office a deep cleaning. 

These are unprecedented times for all of us. It’s going to be a difficult transition as we advance back into the physical workspace. As long as you show patience and empathy, the process should run as smoothly as possible.

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