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Easing of the COVID-19 restrictions may see us back in the workplace sooner, but what will that look like?

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    Changes in the COVID-19 restrictions may see us back working in the office sooner rather than later, but will that be returning to the old business as usual, or will there be a new normal?

    We must change how we interact with each other to overcome the pandemic and avoid a second wave, says Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy, so how do we manage that and try to return to business as usual??

    What are the options?

    There are many ways your organisation can return to the office, whether it’s an all-in immediate return or spaced out, phased return:

    1. All-in return - everyone returns to the office immediately, noting there may be some issues with workstations and the social distancing requirements.
    2. Phased return – identify those employees that need to be in the office to be fully functional in their roles and let them return first.
    3. Roster system – come up with a weekly or fortnightly roster where your employees are rostered on to work in the office and the rest of the time they continue to work from home.
    4. Remain working from home – if it’s not broken, why fix it?? If productivity, employee safety and wellbeing is being met, then why change it now?

    Employers really need to just have a chat with their employees and see what they think is the best option for them – it doesn’t have to be a ‘one size fits all solution’. You will have some employees that work best in the office setting and that’s where they want to be – some might not have left the office during this time at all. But you will have some very anxious employees who are concerned about returning to the office – they may be in the high-risk category, or someone in their family may be. This could cause their stress levels to rise at just the thought of returning to the office.

    Employers really need to take individual needs and their employees wellbeing into consideration before deciding on a blanket approach.

    Going forward, it is going to be a very different business as usual for organisations and as a whole, they need to adapt and make a new normal in order to fully support their employees.

    What does your new normal look like? Are you ready to implement a plan when restrictions allow for it?

    HBA Consulting specialises in the professional advice and assistance on Human Resource Management, Organisational Design and Industrial Relations matters. Contact us today if you need assistance with coaching or mentoring for managers with teams working remotely.

For more information contact Gary Champion Principal HBA Consulting

gary.champion@hbaconsulting.com.au or 02 62474490

Canberra

29 Somerville,
St SPENCE ACT 2615
PH : 02 6247 4490

Sydney

Level 32, 101 Miller St,
North Sydney NSW
PH: 02 8019 7164

Melbourne

Level 2 Riverside Quay,
1 Southbank Boulevard,
Southbank VIC,
PH: 03 9982 4544

Brisbane

Level 19, 10 Eagle Street,
Brisbane QLD
PH: 07 3303 0807