Tips for returning to in-person work

Tips for returning to in-person work

Keybridge Communications resumed in-person work in both our Washington, D.C. and Richmond offices this week. As more companies begin to safely return to their offices, they should consider the following:

1. Maintain some remote-work option.

The Covid-19 pandemic showed many companies worldwide that remote work can be just as, if not more, productive than in-office work. Knowing this, firm leaders should feel confident expanding remote-work policies — and will likely be seen as a more attractive company to current and future employees for doing so.

2. Be flexible and sensitive to the fact that it’s a big transition.

Though more and more Americans are getting vaccinated against Covid-19 each day, the pandemic is not over and employees are likely still dealing with anxiety, grief, burnout, and trauma caused by the last year. Create a Covid-safe working environment, strive to meet the needs of all employees, and be mindful that continuing to work remotely for a little bit longer might work best for some.

3. Be mindful of sharing a work space with colleagues.

Conducting several phone calls in a row or watching a webinar sans-headphones may have been fine while working remotely in your one-bedroom apartment, but it won’t fly during in-person work. Before settling in for a one-hour conference call in a shared space, consider taking it in a vacant conference room. And if that’s not possible, company leaders can equip their team with noise cancelling headphones to make the adjustment to co-working spaces a little bit easier.

4. Organize team-building activities ASAP.

Whether it’s a bagel breakfast, company-wide lunch, or monthly happy hour, scheduling full-team social functions will be essential to restoring a vibrant office environment. Allotting teams monthly budgets to coordinate their own hangouts — like bowling, paddle boarding, or attending a sporting event — is one good way to facilitate bonding between supervisors and their direct reports. And it’s probably helpful to get an all-company retreat on the calendar to bring employees from separate offices together for the first time since 2020 or earlier — ours is scheduled for August 12-13!

Emily Troisi