What Will Change?

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to think about what will be different once we un-shelter and return to the workplace. The one thing we know for sure is that we will not be returning to what we left.

For example, if you have an office design that includes desks or cubicles placed close together, how will you handle social distance issue? Do you have space to move the desks father apart? Or are you thinking about staggering the workforce so that people alternate time in the office with working from home?

How will you handle interactions in your common spaces in the office? And how will you prevent congregating? For example, your break room, as you used to know it, will need to be rethought.

How will you handle people who are afraid to come to the office? Or afraid to commute? Remember to be compassionate when listening to their concerns. It’s a new world for all of us.

Will any of your staff need PPE and do you have sources to purchase masks and gloves? Will you take your employees’ temperature when they arrive at work? How will you accept deliveries?

These are just a few things to consider. Every workplace is different, so your solutions are as varied as there are office set ups.

You can’t start thinking about this the week before you return. You need to consider the issues that are likely to come up and make a plan. Wishy-washy actions and responses will signal to your staff that you’re unprepared or overwhelmed.

Remember, you’re the leader and your people look to you for direction. The combination of empathy and decisiveness will serve you well.

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