Top Tips for Returning to the Office
We’re used to organising ourselves and our families for ‘back to school’ following Christmas, Easter or Summer break or reluctantly getting stuck in at your workplace after a relaxing week or two in the sun. But returning to the office after months of coronavirus lockdown is a very strange situation to be in.
In some cases, workers may have spent more than a year away from their desks, carrying out their duties at home or in temporary, COVID-safe locations. So, here are our top tips for a safe and stress-free, post-COVID return to the office.
Dismantle your home office – In lots of cases, this will involve computers, screens and printers, all linked together by cables; keyboards, mice and even cameras; desks, chairs and possibly filing cabinets, too. Carefully break apart your computer set up (speak to your IT department if you don’t know how to do this), and box and label everything. Safely transporting all of your office items can be a challenge unless you use a reliable supplier of crates and packaging products, such as phs Teacrate.
Pack your workspace – You’ll find a range of suitable crates - such as specialist Flat Screen Computer Crates for valuable IT equipment, secure Lidded Metre Crates for books or suspension files, or Standard Lidded Crates which can easily accommodate lever arch files, stationery and other desktop sundries – available for rent or purchase at phs Teacrate. For the most cost-effective solution, your employer can rent a hygienically cleaned crate bundle from as little as £25 per week.
Follow procedures - Restrictions are not due to be completely phased out until the end of June 2021, so prior to your return to the office, your business’ Health & Safety Officer should have already familiarised themselves with current government COVID-19 recommendations and implemented measures to protect and reassure workers. New routines might seem strange at first but, just like Zoom and Facetime, you’ll soon wonder how you coped without them. With this in mind, you can be assured that phs Teacrate will be on hand for COVID-safe collection of all crates whenever you are finished with them.
Stay considerate – Everyone returning to the workplace will have had different experiences of COVID. Some may have been ill or lost relatives through the pandemic so will be wary of infection; some may have been furloughed and feel ‘out of the loop’; others will be eager to get stuck in to work relationships after a lonely period at home; and there will also be those who have had to work in the office throughout all of the lockdown periods. Be kind and you’ll all get through this together.
Plan your journey – Remember that coronavirus restrictions are likely to be in place for some time and this might affect your usual route to work. Plan ahead by checking public transport timetables and protocols, such as mask wearing and correct change or contactless payments; update yourself on parking or road restrictions; or perhaps think about taking a new route and try walking or cycling part of the way.
Refresh your stash – Your employer should be providing any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that you’ll need, such as masks and hand sanitiser. However, you might like to keep a little stock of your favourite hand gel and most comfortable masks in your drawer, along with the special box of biscuits and that expensive coffee that you like… shh, don’t tell the rest of the office!