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Should you open your office after lockdown?

As an HR manager or talent recruiter, it can be challenging to know when the appropriate time to reopen your office is during the current pandemic. Many offices have now been closed for close to a year, and staff have grown accustomed to working from home. However, there are many benefits to having your team back in the office, especially from a recruitment point of view. Today we’re going to discuss how to know when the right time is to reopen your office after lockdown.

Health and Safety Measures After Lockdown

One of the most important considerations before reopening is whether your office space is equipped to handle either your full team or part of your team returning to work. If you haven’t taken the time to implement health and safety measures, this needs to be your number one priority. Consider whether you have the adequate space for the number of staff you hope to welcome back, and if not, what the maximum safe capacity of your office would be. You may need to install a one-way system around your office or increase handwashing and cleaning facilities. If these are not in place yet, it’s safe to say you may need a little more time to prepare before welcoming back your team to the office.

Recruitment Needs During Lockdown

If your business is in its peak recruitment season, this may offer you a further reason to reopen your office after lockdown. While Zoom and other video conferencing tools have made hiring possible during the pandemic, I’m sure you know there are many benefits of face-to-face interviews and hiring procedures. You may want to consider reopening your office just for interviews and hiring events. Especially if you have to replace key players and management within your company, it’s critical to ensure you find the best fit for these positions.

Consider How Your Team are Coping Throughout Lockdown

Before jumping to the conclusion of whether or not you need to reopen your office, it’s vital to consider how your team are handling the current work from home regulations. You may find that certain teams are finding this much more productive than being in the office. Teams and job roles that require high concentration levels and a quiet environment may find they can get their work done quickly and more efficiently at home. On the other hand, creative teams who are used to collaborating on projects may despise working from home and interacting on video calls. After considering how working from home is affecting people’s mental health, you can decide if priority should be given to a certain team to return. One important thing to consider is that returning to the office should be optional in the first stages, to avoid putting additional pressure on parents or any vulnerable members of your team.

If the responsibility to reopen your office after lockdown lies in your hands, it can be difficult to know when the correct timing is. At this time, if teams are working productively from home, you may want to consider leaving them in this setup for a little longer. Remember that returning to the office should be regarded as optional at the beginning. This will help you to sympathise with any team members who may be struggling through this challenging period.