Welcome to Hire LAB
We help real estate agents.
Everything you need to hire, train and develop your administrative team
Welcome to Hire LAB
We help real estate agents.
Everything you need to hire, train and develop your administrative team.

COVID-19 Back to Work Guidelines

You may be wondering about what our new work world is going to look like. We’ve been giving this a lot of thought as well. So we’ve compiled some handy COVID-19 back to work guidelines to help you and your team make the transition as smooth as possible. For most of us, the COVID-19 quarantine has changed our lives dramatically. Working from home means that we wake up, get ready (or not!), and then walk a few feet to our “office”. We take breaks to chat with our families, take walks outside, or (most likely) eat lots of quarantine snacks. Our meetings take place at our dining room tables via Zoom. We have almost forgotten what it’s like to have a commute or to wear high heels and suits. Instead, we wear sweatpants with our dress shirts for video calls. After several months, this new work-world has become familiar and comfortable for many people.
So now that the COVID-19 quarantine is ending in many places, it’s worth thinking about how (and if!) you, your team, and your company will go back to “normal”. Are you expecting everything to kick back into high gear? It feels as though we’ve gone from 100 mph to zero and now back to 100. Is this pace healthy for your business and your employees? Do you want to return to life just as it was before? Or, instead, do you want to consider some of the new possibilities that the COVID-19 quarantine has opened up? Here are some COVID-19 back to work questions, guidelines, and resources for you to consider as your team goes back to work.
#1 Is it ABSOLUTELY necessary for your employees to come back to the office?

First of all, your employees may not want to return. They may even be SCARED to return so soon.

I would encourage you as a business owner or leader to take a step back and to consider whether your team really NEEDS to come back to the office. Did your employees perform well while working from home? If so, then why not allow them to continue?

Monitor their performance and put a telecommuting agreement into effect, if you don’t already have one. That’s all you really need to do. Take advantage of some of the productivity, safety, and security tools that are available for your employees to install and use on their computers. Make sure they know that if performance declines, then working from home (WFH) will no longer be an option. Enough said.

Here’s something to consider: if WFH has been working well over the past few months and now you are forcing your employees to come back when they don’t really need to, then you risk losing trust and credibility. If the decision doesn’t make sense to them, it looks like a bad decision.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t force anyone to come back if it isn’t absolutely necessary and you trust your employees. WFH is a great benefit, increases overall morale, and can reduce turnover in the long term. So it’s worth trying to make it work for your employees and your business.

#2 Have you prepared your workplace in case your employees WANT or HAVE to return to the office?
I want to give a shout out to everyone who has gone a little stir crazy at home and is eager to return to the office. These employees may truly dislike WFH and would much prefer being around other people. I’m talking to you, extroverts! I also want to give a nod to the employees who cannot work from home and must come back to work (for example, those in the hospitality or retail industries). These employees might not want to return because they are afraid of contracting COVID-19. As businesses and leaders, it is our responsibility to PROTECT our people. Prepare a complete communication plan for how you’ll be getting the office ready for your employee’s return before you ask them to come back. Here are some guidelines on how to prep your workplace before employees come back and what to do if someone who’s working is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Read the CDC’s guidelines, “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”, which includes lots of great info on on how to reduce the transmission of the virus among your employees, how to prepare your workplace for a potential outbreak, and how to maintain a healthy work environment and business operations.
  • If you aren’t up for reading all of the info from the CDC, Fisher Phillips gives you the highlights in “5 Steps To Reopen Your Workplace, According To CDC’s Latest Guidance” and “4 Step Plan to Handle COVID-19 Cases when your Business Reopens.”
  • Check out the CDC’s info on how to clean the workplace and a their “how to” on face coverings.
    • Stock up on face masks for yourself and your employees. If you’re looking for some fashionable ones, take a look at the masks made by Upper Echelon. I ordered a few for myself!
    #3 How can you adjust your workspaces (and leases) to suit the new working conditions and maybe also save you money?
    Your COVID-19 back to work strategy will almost certainly need to include some changes to your workspace. Physical distancing is still required in most places and you may have fewer employees coming to the office to work. So it’s worth considering whether or not you need the same type of space. Will you still need as many offices? Will you need any offices at all? You might think about creating an open workspace instead, sort of like having your own little WeWork. These types of changes may end up saving you a significant amount of money. Even if your team members are physically apart, you will need to keep them connected and engaged. So keep (or start!) using platforms such as Zoom, Slack, Trello, Teams, and Google Hangouts. Video calls are great for meeting with your employees (but not on Fridays, so your team can have a real casual day at home). Find new ways to spend time together, such as having video happy hours or lunches or playing games. For some ideas on how to keep your employees motivated while WFH, check out these team-building activities for remote teams. No one knows what will happen next. All we can do now is to create a strong, clear COVID-19 back to work plan and then adjust as necessary. I know that whatever you choose to do as a leader or as an organization will be done with kindness and intention. And remember, we are always available for you. So if you aren’t sure of what to do, don’t hesitate to reach out!
    Leilani Quiray

    LeiLani Quiray


    Continue the conversation with her here.


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