How to Communicate to Employees that it is Safe to Return to the Office Following the Pandemic

In 2020 working from home throughout the world became a norm as employee safety was threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work activities that some companies previously viewed with skepticism became the savior for some, making them even more efficient than ever before. For example, Sagicor’s Rookie of the Year (Life), Akindele Licorish spoke of the benefits of working from home to his peers as being able to have more meetings with potential clients and being able to get documents approved quicker since corrections and signing could now be done online without the normal time-wasting commutes.

Now that employees have settled into working from home and are also finding success in doing so, companies are facing the problem of getting them back into the office and communicating that it is safe to do so. Part of this problem is the relationship that has been forged behand with these internal stakeholders. Communication must flow freely and in both directions within an organization so that critical information is received in the way it is intended. Beyond this relationship, here are some tips for communicating with employees to get them back into the office.

1. Survey employees about their experience working from home, what worked, and how the experience can be useful to the company going forward.

2. Conduct meetings with managers of every level including supervisors to get their views on how and when persons should return to work.

3. Have the direct supervisor of the employee be the one to inform them of the return-to-work notice.

4. Make physical adjustments to the office space for social distancing and sanitizing.

5. Put signs in place to remind persons of the health protocols.

6. Prepare a newsletter thanking employees for their dedication working from home, communicate the company’s position at the time whether it had achieved its goals and what is its target going forward, communicate the measures the company is using to keep employees and other stakeholders safe.

7. Finally, have HR prepare a safety protocol for distribution to each employee.

Employees are obligated to return to work when asked to do so, however, effectively communicating the company’s commitment to their safety will make the difference to whether they are dissatisfied and disgruntled or engaged and productive.

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