When COVID-19 abruptly changed the world, businesses had to adapt. Remote work became an overnight necessity and helped sustain the economy. It was a lifesaver in a storm, but simply is not the ideal way to continue working forever for most of us.   

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how you can steer your office crew back into work mode after an extended closure or remote work situation. 

Remote work will never go away, of course, pandemic or no pandemic. Remote work offers too many advantages, it’s earned a permanent place on the shelf of options for business managers. However, it’s become clear that if true collaboration is necessary between team members, nothing beats that in-the-room communication vibe. So to stay afloat and move forward, more and more businesses are returning to life as normal, but it’s got to be a new normal.   

 

Defining your New Normal

A new normal includes living with COVID 19. It has not miraculously disappeared, but medical researchers have deciphered enough clues to help us feel confident about what truly prevents spread and what doesn’t.  

Now granted, if you watch the TV news, you might get a different idea, but we promise that the scientists and epidemiologists studying the pandemic have been able to reliably solve many of the mysteries we faced at the beginning with a novel virus. Our research team here at Michael Management is more competent than the TV news, so we’ve got you covered. Our goal is to help you define and describe your new normal so you can get back to it. 

 

Upbeat Tone and Positivity

As a manager, you’re responsible for setting the tone of your office environment. If we might suggest, you should set one of gratitude and hope. People need to be brought out of a collective slump caused by the pandemic’s upheaval.  

Take a moment with everyone back in the office to collectively reflect and discuss experiences, focusing on solutions and causes for celebration and gratitude.    

Many people are still nervous about gathering in public. There are legitimate reasons to be worried. Transmission of COVID is more likely in large groups, so any business environment needs to implement appropriate policies to thwart the spread of the virus.

Medical researchers have concluded that wearing masks, improving air circulation, erecting barriers like plexiglass desk shields, all offer a measure of protection. There is no one magic answer.  

Other simple but effective strategies include basics like frequent hand washing and easy access to sanitation wipes and gels.      

Frequent testing is the ultimate weapon. Epidemiologists recommend this because isolating the virus is a critical step for eradicating the danger. Who has the virus is vital intelligence to have.   

If people are 100% positive no one in the group is infected, then wearing masks becomes unnecessary. The problem of course is having legitimate confidence in people might be carriers.  

 

Procedures Need To Be Well Thought Out, Practical And Sustainable  

  • Precisely what you do needs to take into account your unique work environment. For example, are your employees exposed to customer traffic? The more people in an environment, the greater the chances of spreading disease. 
  • Bathroom sanitation is of particular concern because scientists have discovered that COVID 19 germs linger in fecal matter long after symptoms have disappeared. 
  • Employees should therefore not only be encouraged to wash their hands frequently but should also close the lid when they flush the toilet. Honestly, that is a good, basic hygiene practice no matter the circumstances. It’s certainly not a pleasant subject but is undoubtedly true so should be acknowledged for safety sakes.  
  • Here are some suggestions of what you need to help you get organized for compliance with COVID-19 safety standards and guidelines.  

 

Checklist for Office Business Managers

  • New cleanliness and hygiene strategies
  • Gather resources necessary to implement and sustain new policies
  • Have some training ready immediately, even if it is just one memo and a quick ten-minute speech. Posted rules are less likely to be forgotten.  
  • Make sure to think of backup plans and flexibility positions
  • Supply ongoing communications with employees, customers, and other stakeholders
  • Don’t be obsessive, pay attention to things besides COVID
     

After Safety From COVID- Then What?

As soon as people know that all reasonable precautions have been taken to maintain a safe working environment, folks will be able to relax and get some work done. 

Fatigue with the whole idea of deadly, contagious, virus pandemics is part of the overall problem. This makes it important to not obsess over COVID to the exclusion of other things. Distraction from the pandemic is a good idea as long as the safety precautions are in place and have become a habit.  

Distracted by getting back to business as normal. Remember all those normal stresses of managing an office environment? 

Ah, the good old days!

  • Insufficient productivity and disrupted workflow from a lack of employee training.
  • Daily struggles with office-wide time management issues.
  • Stress over success metrics and how to increase achievement.  
  • Figuring out ways to mesh divergent management styles and improve employee morale, even when you’re dealing with more personality types than your psych class ever mentioned.
  • Communication mishaps between diverse employees and all the mayhem that can cause.

You remember all that fun, don’t you?  

Relax. 

We’ve got you covered. Business training, training for stress management skills, information, and strategies for efficient business productivity, everything you need to efficiently run a modern and diverse workforce is covered in our wide variety of SAP Business Training Online Educational Courses. Our business training curriculum will give you the tools, knowledge and in some cases, even the experience you need to solve work productivity issues of all kinds. Check out our curriculum today.   


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Lorraine Grula is a curious and compassionate Okie native who grew up on politics and science. She loves to read, write and study the world and shares her insights in our blog.
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