Top Tips for Returning to the Office

June 9, 2021 | Iowa Businesses Show Resilience During Pandemic Denny Fisher, Chief Client Experience Officer, ACS,

As the vaccine continues to roll out, many employers will likely return to in-office duties in some form or another. Whether your plan is a hybrid or all-in-person strategy, it’s likely your employees will be asked to return to the office in some fashion. These tips will help your employees keep their sanity, and your systems stay protected.

1. Clearly communicate expectations: The one constant of change is that poor communication will always make it more difficult and more chaotic. When the time comes to bring your employees back to the office, clearly state dates, expectations, and updated policies to those affected. Provide consistent and detailed information often and in a timely manner to help your employees feel comfortable during this new change.

2. Protect your information: Employee laptops and devices were likely exposed to more threats than they usually would have been in the office. Unprotected home networks could lead to viruses and other cyber threats. Perform an antivirus and antimalware scan on all devices and backup information that may have been saved locally vs. on the network while away from the office.

3. Update and patch all machines: While working remotely, it's possible many laptops and devices may not have been maintained on a routine schedule like they are in the office. When employees return, ensure all devices are running on the latest Hardware and Software levels, closing any potential back-door entry points for hackers and preventing system failure and information loss due to poor maintenance.

4. Update company policies: Have any policies and procedures changed in the last 18 months? Did they change to accommodate remote work and now need to reflect a hybrid or full in-person model? Update policies and procedures to reflect the current and future state of business. Once updated, communicate the changes and provide training if necessary.

5. Create an inviting environment: For many employees, the thought of returning to the office is stressful. Make the return to the office more appealing by planning small surprises the first few weeks they return. It doesn’t have to be large, maybe individually packaged cookies in the breakroom or at their desk, free lunch the first week, a branded mug or tchotchke, something to make them feel appreciated and have something to look forward to. One thing is for sure. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your customers.