Skip links

Planning The Return To The Workplace

As our thoughts turn to returning to the office or creating a hybrid way of working, here are some pointers to begin the process of bringing people back to the workplace:

Gather Information

  • Survey your employees or run focus groups with them
  • Ask other companies about their working practices and health and safety measures
  • Find out what the current procedures are for security and cleaning in your workplace
  • Visit the office premises to establish possible risks (surfaces, stairwells, kitchen area etc)
  • Keep updated with the latest guidance and seek professional advice if necessary

Make Plans

  • Collate the feedback from your people
  • Create a plan for your people with relevant actions
  • Complete a risk assessment document and share it internally
  • Create FAQs for those returning to the office
  • Consider how you can ensure the safety – both physical and psychological – of your employees

Actions

  • Complete the actions from the risk assessment
  • Set dates for those who are returning to the office, perhaps in phases
  • Decide who will be responsible for the employees who return to the office
  • Share all information prepared with employees before they return

Communication

  • Throughout the whole process, regularly communicate with everybody including those on furlough, maternity leave, long term absence etc.
  • Create a central place for all your communications and keep it updated
  • Make sure there is a way for people to share their ongoing questions and suggestions such as a forum, a designated email address, a suggestion box or an app.
  • Keep everyone updated in a variety of ways, such as leadership briefings, 1:1 calls, podcasts, virtual team gatherings etc
  • Respond to all questions asked
  • Signpost other support available (e.g. Cruse, Mind etc)
  • Keep yourself briefed with the latest advice from gov.uk

Ongoing Review

  • Regularly evaluate the safety measures you have in place
  • Is the level of cleaning enough?
  • What is the feedback from your employees?
  • Are your risk assessment/policy/checklists still fit for purpose?
  • Think about what may have changed and what needs to be changed.

If you have any questions or enquiries about how you can create a plan for safely returning your employees to work please contact me on claire.carson@cognitivelaw.co.uk.