Going Back to the Office after Lockdown
Going back to the office after lockdown can be a bit of a culture shock. Especially if you have been spending every day since lockdown level 5 at home to work. There have been seven months of lockdown and despite things seemingly going back to “normal,” that simply will not be the case at work.
The office is where we were used to getting together with the team and working in a professional environment (sans kids in our Zoom meetings). Both management and employees need to take care, as the new normal may require a few changes around the office.
Office management needs to ensure that certain precautions are in place. Employees should be supplied with hand sanitizer and a mask. Surfaces – especially in communal areas, should be disinfected regularly throughout the day.
It is advised that employees remain at home as often as possible. If it works for your team, there is no reason for you to transition back to a fully-functional office. COVID-19 spreads easily between people, especially if they are in close contact and without masks. As we know, the risk is likely highest for those who remain in close contact for longer than 15 minutes, especially indoors.
In offices with many shared spaces, or where people are in close quarters, this method of spreading is more likely, since many people use things like copiers, refrigerators, door handles etc.
Had the Virus?
Clinical psychologist Dr Colinda Linde, advises that returning to work after recovering from COVID-19 can be scary. “Allow time for adjustment. The best analogy I can think of is: If you’ve had a tummy bug and you’re feeling much better the next day, you can eat again. I would really not recommend that you hit the dessert buffet because you’re going to feel really ill. Too much, too soon. Start small with a few crackers and toast, and then build up. This is the same for getting back to work. People now have masks on. There’s social distancing. There’s definitely going to be the time needed, for the physical adjustment, and the emotional and mental adjustment.”