As businesses in Stockport begin to prepare for a return to the workplace, Amshire IT share their considerations for a smooth transition back to the office.
With the Government’s furlough scheme coming to an end in September and with the vaccine rollout well underway, businesses are starting to think about the way in which they will commence their journey back into the workplace.
Additional equipment to ensure sufficient safety
In order to effectively safeguard employees’ health and to reduce the risk and spread of infection, it’s vital that the Government’s social distancing guidelines are adhered to. As employers, this may mean that multiple visits to the workplace are required to assess the situation and to practically test health and safety procedures before the workforce begins to return.
Consideration needs to be given to the consequences of moving desks around the office to facilitate 2 metre distances. Power cables to workstations or telephone extension leads will be required, but trailing wires potentially bring another health and safety hazard.
VoIP phone systems could also be used if some of your workforce are continuing to work from home. By downloading a softphone app, the VoIP system can easily be extended onto mobile phones too.
WiFi extenders may also be required if workstations are being spread out so that all employees are able to carry out their usual tasks without additional disruption.
Phased returns and continued virtual communication
Returning to the workplace is likely to be a prolonged process but with a phased return, business can begin to pick up again. By reducing the number of staff members in the workplace, social distancing is easier to facilitate. A more gradual readjustment to working life also helps to limit levels of stress and anxiety, therefore increasing productivity.
Additionally, with a phased return meaning that part of your workforce might be continuing to operate from home whilst others move back into the workplace, it’s important that you continue to promote the importance of virtual communication via platforms such as Zoom, Teams or Skype. This may mean that additional external webcams are required to connect to employees’ computers in the office.
Consider the need to update certain workstations
Following the Government’s advice to work remotely, equipment that was left in the workplace may require updating or patching.
Running outdated software and apps increases the opportunities for cyber crime to take place and so it’s vital that devices are updated to minimise weaknesses. Security scanning software and patch management reveal the problem on the device and then implement a solution. Actions such as this are critical to successfully prepare your working environment for staff to carry out their tasks effectively.
With the very little time we were given to prepare for remote working, it may be a fitting time to consider adopting a more mobile-orientated work environment. For example, by replacing desktop PCs with powerful laptops, which just have a single power cord to contend with, employees can easily transition between home and work and the health and safety risk of numerous trailing cables is substantially reduced.