Monday the 19th of July was controversially named 'Freedom day' when the UK Government officially relaxed all covid-19 measures in England. In doing so, the Government ordered that employees can head back to the office. For many businesses the planning had began weeks ago and a minority of workers couldn't wait to return to the office and had already returned.
As a snub to Boris's plans the vast majority of Blue Chip companies such as Apple, Barclays, Microsoft, Aviva to name a few postponed their return plans until Jan 2022. So what does this mean for the average SME and MME in the UK...business as usual or continue to be cautious too?
The decision on whether to return to the office or not is totally individual and all businesses will have different demands/needs.
Top 10 tips for planning a safe and productive return to work:
- Consult your employee's to understand their fears, concerns and desire to return
- Plan ahead for the number of desk you will need and how often people will use or rotate them
- Be prepared to return back home, if the lock-down returns or infections rise and staff are 'pinged'
- Ask your office supplier for a 'Covid clause' or build breaks into your licence agreement
- Decide if you're current office(s) are fit for purpose - if not compare the market
- Create a 2-3 year real estate plan/budget to enable you to flex with desk demand
- Speak to your current office provider about their covid cleaning protocols and safe working measures
- Look at your office density and ensure people have plenty of space to work
- Consider reviewing all employee's contracts if your planning a permeant work from home strategy
- Use booking technology or create an bespoke booking system to encourage desk booking/sharing to increase desk utility rates and flexibility.
What ever your plans it's clear the UK Government are 'rolling the nice' now and hoping that England achieves their goal of a 'irreversible' unlocking.