Deciding when is the right time to go back to the office

We’re getting back to our regular activities. Coronavirus crisis raises less interest, and in most of the countries, the number of new cases is declining.
For people who worked in the office, this means going back.
But, how, and who should decide when to come back?

First of all, of course, state regulations. State regulations vary by locale, so keep a close eye on ones that apply in the state you live in. We won’t get into the topic of why not break the law; we sincerely hope you know that.

Then we have C-level management of a company. In some companies, C-level management is the sole body that decides when is the right time to get back to the office based on a set of criteria they find valid, state regulations, business goals, etc.

Businesses should answer these questions before deciding to tell their employees to start working from the office:

Is it essential? Can the job be performed from home? How was the output during this time, was it at the same level as before?

Is the workplace safe for employees? The moral, ethical, and legal concern of companies is to take care of their employees. Did we implement all necessary measures to ensure our coworkers’ safety?

But, we have an additional question for companies where C-level management isn’t the sole body making the decision.

Is it mutually agreed upon? Did we ask our employees about their opinions and concerns? Many of our colleagues may commute or use public transport, and getting back to the office earlier than necessary puts an additional layer of safety concern.

This is the case we certainly as company support.

Employees are counting on their companies to help them get back to work safely” was said in one article we read as a preparation. This is, of course, true, we’re all hoping our companies won’t endanger us by putting us in unsafe conditions. But when it comes to health and other things of interest to a large number of people in a company, we believe this should be, as we said before, a matter of mutual agreement.
For companies putting extra effort to keep their employees safe, and comfortable, we have one last question.

Will it be convenient for our employees? Some employees feel more comfortable with coming to the office; others are still reluctant. We all have our pace to adjust.

At BrightMarbles, we asked ourselves all four questions. Our approach to return to the office consists of monitoring the situation and enabling our colleagues to return to the office at their own pace when they feel safe. The work is done remotely, without delay or a drop in productivity.

The matter of returning to the office is complicated, depends on multiple factors, and involves multiple departments, that’s why it should be dealt with care. As it affects the company as a whole, keeping everybody’s safety in mind, and respecting each other’s decisions, is necessary.