With the number of new COVID-19 cases on the decline and restrictions slowly starting to lift, many workers are facing a return to the office in the near future. For some, returning to the office is a welcome respite from the mundane reality of living and working in their homes day in and day out. For others, the thought of adding this back into their regular routine and potentially being exposed to the virus is anxiety-inducing.
As an employer, there are steps you can take to mitigate your employees’ anxieties and make the transition back to the office easier. Here’s how to deal with post-lockdown employee anxiety.
Assess Your Workspace
Assessing your old workspace and making necessary adjustments before your employees step foot inside will make them feel more comfortable with the prospect of coming back. You may need to adjust the layout of your office to ensure proper physical distancing can be maintained. Providing plenty of hand care products and other sanitary supplies will also help reduce their level of anxiety.
Communicate Your Return to Work Plan
Having a plan in place and communicating that plan with your employees is an important step for employers to take in this unprecedented process. Letting your employees know exactly what you’re doing to keep them safe and providing them with much-needed guidance will help make the return to work more manageable for them. Anyone that has a leadership role in your organization should be trained on how to best support employees through this transition.
Self-care is more important now than ever before, and as an employer, you should be supporting and encouraging this practice. Whether that means providing different resources to help your team cope or giving your employees time off to recharge, showing empathy will go a long way.
Address the Stress
Having open lines of communication with your employees throughout this transition is the best way to keep their anxieties at bay. Address their concerns head-on and have as many one-on-one meetings as possible. The more comfortable and supported your employees feel, the better.
There’s a good chance that not all your employees will feel comfortable coming back to the office, and that’s ok. Giving your employees the option to return to the office when they are ready will help relieve their anxiety tremendously. We’re all in unchartered territory, and it’s important to respect others’ feelings, even if they may not reflect your own.
By meticulously planning out your employees’ return to work and treating this situation with the care it deserves, your team will come back together in the best shape possible when the time comes. At Project Spaces, we’ve been doing everything in our power to make sure our members feel comfortable coming back to our coworking spaces. We’ve stocked up on several sanitary supplies, made sure our members can practice appropriate physical distancing in our space, and moved all our events online so that there are less people coming in and out. Book a tour of our spaces today and let us help you with the transition back to work.
Founder-friendly coworking in downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. EST 2011. We create awesome spaces, fill them with passionate people, and watch the magic happen. Learn more