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Ready for Business: Moving from virtual to in-person working

How to have a productive, energised, and SAFE first day back in the office.

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease in the UK, business owners are looking for affordable, accessible, and most importantly safe ways to bring customers through their doors. After what seemed like an eternity of working from home, numerous businesses are now proactively looking for viable alternatives to working from their standard office spaces. Search engine queries for serviced offices are on the rise, indicating that there is a growing demand for COVID-safe workspaces that still allow for personal interaction, with the minimised burden of ensuring adherence to cleanliness measures outside of the home.

But one aspect of moving from virtual-based working to in-person working that you may not have considered is the transition itself. Undoubtedly, this will be a learning curve for all businesses – from the most established brands all the way through to burgeoning start-ups.

A quick Google search reveals an endless display of available resources to help people transition to remote working, attributed to the overnight shift most of us needed to accommodate when lockdown restrictions began. However, there’s a noticeable lack of resource for those looking for advice in the transition back into the office.

We’ve put together some practical and easily implemented steps to help you transition from being stationed in a designated corner of your home to working in a team again, with some fun tips and tricks to boot.

How to transition from a virtual work setup to in-person

As the UK workforce gradually make their return to the office, these five tips can help you make the most of the change to boost your productivity and stay safe while doing so.

Cover your bases

If you are a business owner, chances are you’re quite familiar with updated regulations surrounding your responsibility as an employer to ensure the health & safety of your staff. Ensuring that these crucial bases are covered is paramount to getting you back into the office safely.

Whether you need to re-arrange desk layouts, add in protective visors, or demarcate socially distanced areas, it’s a good idea to get your HR department involved as early as possible. The more you can reassure your staff that they’re returning to a safe, considered, and structured environment – the better for all. It might help to take photographs of your updated office and send them out on group chats – it’s a sure-fire way to get the teams chatting and opens up a platform allowing your employees to give their input.

Keep setting goals and targets

It’s important to keep your eyes on the prize amidst all the noise and chaos of returning to work. Having a strategy in place will help you keep your days and weeks structured and gives the wider team a specific goal to focus on.

It’s fair to say that longer-terms strategies might need to be revisited as the economy revives but having a foundation to work from sets you up for success.

Remember to celebrate achievements and acknowledge success – your team will be looking to you for this, and small-scale celebrations might be just the thing you need to reinvigorate potentially weary colleagues.

Focus on communication

Staff will likely be a bit out-of-touch with the normal on goings of the office. Clear, concise, and considered communication is the key to ensuring your staff have a smooth transition back to office-based working.

Avoid relying on emails the same way you might have when working remotely. A personal, one to one conversation is always the better option, with less room for misconstrued replies or accidental ambiguation. Where face to face isn’t possible, pick up the phone.

Make the office an enjoyable place

A well-placed plant or framed family photo can make all the difference to how energetic you feel throughout your day. In a serviced office space, the key to personalising your desk lies with accessories and personal effects. You might even want to consider more health-focused accessorising, perhaps an ergonomic mouse pad or a back-support accessory is exactly what you need?

A personal mug or cup is always a good idea – and given the guidelines on sharing crockery and cutlery – this is a fun and functional way to bring a personal touch to your workday while saying safe.

Give yourself some time to adjust

We simply can’t expect to rush back into the way things were, pre-COVID. Social distancing measures, the impact on staff who depend on public transport to get to and from the office, as well as strict regulations surrounding workplace safety after the crisis are proving tough obstacles to overcome for many.

Allowing yourself, and your team, sufficient time to re-adjust to working together in-person is vital. That might translate into allowing some time for fun team activities, like a Friday afternoon quiz, or even allowing for a staggered shift pattern. This is particularly helpful to help staff who have childcare commitments or other commitments, and this type of flexibility is conducive to a more positive attitude throughout the day.

Advantages of a serviced office post-COVID

One of the major benefits of using a serviced office to get back to work is the flexibility it allows.

Traditional office space rentals can tie the tenant into inflexible, long-term commitments that pose the risk of holding back their growth in the coming months. However, choosing a serviced office allows for much shorter lease terms, a greatly reduced overhead cost – and also opens up new doors for accommodating more staff. As your business grows, a serviced office provides the space you need to foster that growth – both physically and contractually. You won’t be tied into annual contracts or limited to one location. Instead, you have the freedom to add additional desk space, branch out to other locations, and provide breakout space and meeting room areas for your growing complement of staff and customers. 

Choosing a locally based serviced office helps more of your employees to reduce their commute time, as well as making those commutes more user-friendly. Our Bath serviced offices are located just half a mile from Bath Spa Train Station; we can already hear the collective sigh of relief from the staff who usually need to walk for ages after disembarking their morning commute.

No matter how you plan on reintegrating into the in-person working world, we want to assure you that we are taking every necessary precaution to keep Trim Street Bath serviced offices the welcoming, safe and friendly space you’ve come to know. If you’re ready to reduce your overheads and grow your business, we’re here and ready to help.

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