It’s been months since much of the world implemented stay-at-home orders, forcing many businesses to enable employees to work from home with virtually no time to prepare.

Author: Caitlin Beckman, senior manager, product marketing, Datto

This change meant leaders needed to think about technical challenges, security gaps, as well as effective communication and collaboration techniques for a remote workforce. Now, countries, states, and cities are lifting restrictions and encouraging businesses to slowly open their doors.

To ensure a smooth transition, there are a number of aspects you need to consider. Understand that the environment won’t be the same as it was before COVID-19 and communication, operations, and daily processes may be impacted.

We’ve developed a series of checklists to help businesses as they reopen their offices. The checklists cover four key imperatives for the transition: your employees, your office space, your technology stack, and your clients.

1. Employees: Be mindful that your team may be nervous about returning to the office. If you prepare properly, you can alleviate many concerns for your employees and enable them to focus on the work instead of the global health crisis.

  • Establish a transition team that can act as the point of contact for all questions/concerns
  • Create a phased opening schedule and establish an “ongoing” work from home policy to reduce crowding and to enable social distancing
  • Over communicate plans and any changes with employees

2. Office Space: While the office may be open, practicing social distancing will still be of utmost importance. Be prepared to make changes to your floor plans, conference rooms, and office signage to ensure your employees can abide by social distancing guidelines. Your goal is to create an office environment that is safe for all employees.

  • Perform a thorough cleaning of the office before you reopen
  • Establish guidelines for hosting group meetings
  • Establish social distancing and good hygiene practices
  • Provide employees with masks, hand sanitizer, etc. so they are equipped and safe in the workplace

3. Technology: Returning to the office doesn’t necessarily mean you will be abandoning all of your Work From Home (WFH) set-ups. In fact, your employees may need to self isolate for the foreseeable future. Also, workstations in the office may need updates or patching since they were sitting idle. Your technology goal is to ensure your employees have what they need to do their jobs effectively while you ensure and maintain a safe and secure work environment.

  • Run an audit of your WFH technology as well as your workstations in the office
  • Understand what security measures need to be in place to protect workers in either environment
  • Create a list of employees who used personal computers to WFH
  • Document the technology gaps that were exposed during the crisis and create a plan to address them

4. Clients: Once your employees, your office, and your technology are in order, it’s time to focus on your clients. This is where you and your team can play a critical role in helping your clients get back to the office.

  • Schedule a review of each clients’ current state
  • Develop and conduct an ‘After Action Review’ with your clients
  • Utilize Datto’s checklist to build out reopening plans for your clients

Visit our website to download all of the checklists here.

Caitlin Beckman is senior manager, product marketing, Datto. Read more Datto guest blogs here.