Workplace Wellness: 5 Ways To Support Employees As They Return To The Office

Creating a ‘back to the office’ toolkit can give your employees peace of mind.
  • While workplaces are preparing to re-open, not everyone is confident returning to work.
  • Many organizations are offering back to the office toolkits to give employees peace of mind.
  • Create a guide or better still, a video of the office to help employees navigate their post-COVID work environment.

Organizations are getting ready to welcome back employees into the workplace. But, are workers ready to go back into the office?

While some people may remain unphased by the pandemic, the opposite is true for many professionals. In fact, many people will find it hard to go back to “normal”, if such a “normal” even exists. 

Going back to the workplace may become a constant source of stress and anxiety for many professionals. To support employees in the transition back to the office, many organizations are offering back to the office wellbeing toolkits. 

Though certain health and safety measures (temperature checks, sanitization stations, mandatory use of face masks, etc.) can help calm some fears, some people may need additional help to feel comfortable going back to their workplace. 

5 Ideas to Support Employees as They Return to the Office

1. Access to webinars or trainings

Before your employees head back to the office, consider providing them with a variety of webinars or training sessions that can help them better navigate the post-COVID office. 

Webinars should cover topics such as: 

  • Any new changes you made to the workplace
  • New policies and guidelines that will be in place
  • Information about viruses and how they are transmitted
  • What will be expected of them vs what will be provided for them (if you will be requiring mandatory use of face masks, who is responsible for purchasing those face masks?)
  • Any updates you’ve made to the built environment (HVAC system maintenance, increased cleaning, etc.)
  • What the protocol is if someone feels sick or if someone in the building tests positive
  • Wellbeing and mental health; resources or assistance programs that could be valuable to workers.

2. Access to e-learning curated content

Many people may find it hard to find reliable information in times like these. To ensure that the information workers are getting is factual, consider providing them with access to e-learning and curated content. 

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The content can be company made or outsourced. It’s important here that e-learning platforms are also used to communicate any important information that is relevant or even urgent. 

Bear in mind that if something happens, your employees should hear it from their manager or company executives first-hand. 

3. Printed material 

When people go back to the office, make sure that they have any necessary and important information ready on hand. 

This means printing out FAQs about new protocols or safety measures, how to practice social distancing in shared areas, respiratory etiquette, and any other new policies that you may have in place. 

It’s also important to provide specific instructions that should be followed in certain circumstances; for example, brewing a new pot of coffee, dining area etiquette, elevator use, etc. 

Pro tip: print out floor markers to make it easier for workers to adhere to social distancing protocols. 

4. A welcome back kit

Along with the printed materials, consider creating a welcome back kit with post-pandemic essentials.

Some things to include:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Face masks
  • Water bottles to discourage the use of shared glassware
  • A personal mug
  • Tips and tricks for efficient cleaning and disinfecting 

Pro tip: evaluate the option of providing branded essentials; this can help employees reconnect with your brand and boost company culture. 

5. Access to additional resources

To support employees during these challenging times and as they navigate going back to the office, consider giving them access to additional resources. Some ideas include:

  • Meditation apps or podcasts that can help relieve anxiety
  • Books that can teach individuals how to better cope with stress
  • Access to digital resources with self-care tips and best practices
  • Material on how to practice resilience
  • Access to guided yoga or deep breathing exercises. 
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