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Planning Your Return to the Office: 5 Things to Do

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Vaccination percentages are on the rise, and while the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly not behind the United States, it seems to be on its way out. That means many offices are moving back to a traditional office setup, which can be as difficult a transition as moving to work-from-home in the first place. Here are five steps you can take to make that transition as easy as possible.

1. Consult Local Public Health Guidelines

Your first step should be to look at local public health guidelines. Although there are general guidelines available for the entire country, cities can vary dramatically in risk factors, which means it’s a good idea to look at both your state’s guidelines and your city’s guidelines to see what officials are recommending for your area.

2. Distribute an Employee Survey

One of the best ways to get an idea of how your employees feel about remote and in-office work is to distribute a survey. Ask your employees about whether they want to move back to in-office work, what problems they’re currently having with remote work, and what type of help they’re interested in regarding their work needs.

3. Determine How Many Employees Need to Be In-Office

Different jobs and industries will require different amounts of employees in-office to function properly. For example, a nail salon will require most employees in-office, with very few options for working remotely; a software development company may be able to maintain more remote workers. Establishing a threshold of the employees that you absolutely need in-office can help you understand what to shoot for.

4. Look Into Reducing Your Real Estate Space

If you choose to move to a hybrid workspace, where some people are working remotely and some are working in-office, you might need to reduce the amount of real estate that you rent. Renting more real estate space than necessary can be expensive and negatively impactful to your bottom line. Instead, it’s a good idea to think about how your real estate space relates to your employees, and rent it appropriately.

5. Encourage Your Employees to Return to the Office

It’s a good idea to take an encouraging tone instead of an aggressive one when you’re trying to first move your employees back to the office. If you’ve decided on a hybrid workspace model, you might want to allow employees to opt into in-office work, allowing you to identify the employees that will be most excited to move back to office work.


Many people are choosing to move their company to largely in-office work now that the pandemic is starting to slow down and more people are getting vaccinated. However, you shouldn’t expect that this transition will be completely smooth without some work on your company’s part. It’s important that you put in the work necessary to make sure people can come back to the office easily and effectively. With these five tips, you’ll be able to make that transition as smooth as possible.


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