How to entice your employees in coming back in the office

How to lure your employees in coming back to the office

Hi! So you want to bring back people now in your office? Good luck.

My name is Bill Robert, and I’m the co-founder of Wx, a workplace consulting company.

Before trying to figure out how to bring people back in the office, you must ask yourself and your management – if you really have an emergency to re-enter your office. Productivity has probably decreased for only a small part of your workforce, because they can’t access the right material, like powerful computer or paper resources, or because they can’t collaborate properly. Every situation is different, but I see too many companies with pre-conceived ideas on the purpose of their office. Trying to bring back as many people as possible unravel various issues, and although this is theoretically possible, trying to adapt your workplace is going to be a very tedious exercise.

So we’ve split this video in two, and you can check the part 2 next week. We’ll talk first about the bare minimum: making your workplace evidently safe, or minimally safer, as there is no one right now who know exactly what to do. Part 2 will focus on the incentives you can put in place to lure people in coming back. So follow us on Youtube or Linkedin if you want to be notified.

First thing to do: adapt the sanitary measures in your office and communicate about it. You’re probably going to send an email to everyone, so we have made you a checklist about what to say, and that is in the description – and you can use it as a template to check what applies to you.

  1. State what you know about the transmission of the virus: The new caution is obviously air circulation – the best resources available are through the guidance of your country, or province. However, check in the description, there is a brilliant data visualization from El Païs that summarizes it nicely.
  2. Restate the regulation applying to your country/province/city regarding the return at the office. It goes from gentle guidances, such as the ones from the WHO, and your federal government – to more coercive measures, usually made by local authorities – your county or province, and your city. Here in Montreal, Quebec, the general rule is that 25% of your pre-pandemic capacity should be your maximum current capacity – and the physical distancing norm is 6 feet. All of this can be however modulated by your context or features – the quality of your HVAC system, or the presence of partitions, for example.
  3. Show the modified plans and the calculations that limit the number of people – it should show clearly the personal areas, the signages and the presence of disinfection spots. We’ve done if for some clients and it’s a great tool, both for your planning and to explain the situation to your employees.
  4. Describe your HVAC system and the measure you have taken to prevent the air transmission of the virus. In a nutshell, the best practices commonly admitted are:
    • Increase the proportion of fresh/outside air intake, to at least 30%;
    • Increase cubic feet per minute or the air change cycle in the space
    • Use higher MERV rating for the HVAC filters; and
    • How to incite your employees in
    • Slightly complex, huh? If you want to learn more, I put in the description the link to a great Mckinsey article that goes into some of these details. Or you can obviously give use a call 😂
  5. Describes additional measure or cleaning policy.
  6. Describe the new rules applying to your workspace. There are key questions that you must answer:
    • Who is eligible to come back in the workspace?
    • What are the rules governing the venues? Is it alternating shifts or simply an on-demand system?
    • What rooms or stations can I use?
    • How do you handle the exceptions?
    • You may want to put a system in place to ease up this process. it goes from a spreadsheet to something more elaborated. On this note, check what our sister company, Wx Solutions, has developed during the first phase of the pandemic. It’s awesome!

OK, so you should end with a pretty thick email. The key is to be transparent, informed and professional. Everyone understand you may not have all the answers, and 3/4 of the workforce is willing to come back at the office, at least some days a week. don’t forget to check in the description the list: everything is there. If you want to learn more about this, send us an email to the address right here.

and I hope to see you guys next week for the part 2 of this video about the tricks!