Managers, business owners and project managers alike must understand how to handle the change and keep their employees informed, connected and safe throughout this transition.

3 Tips for Managing Your Team’s Return to the Workplace


There’s no doubt that one of the most prominent results of the COVID-19 pandemic is the global impact it has had on the workforce. Between individuals being laid off, furloughed or asked to shift their normal agenda to work from home, companies and their employees have felt more pressure than ever to remain resilient and mentally stable during these tough times.

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, total cases reported since January 2020 remain near 7,000, with a large percentage of these cases released as recovered. This health and wellness uprising from the coronavirus has companies across the continent feeling more confident to send their employees back to work and maintain a “new normal” in the office.

But before you can commit to this journey, there are various considerations to keep in mind. Managers, business owners and project managers alike must understand how to handle the
change and keep their employees informed, connected and safe throughout this transition. Here are a few tips for doing so:

1. Reconfigure your workplace set up

Before heading back to the office, take a look at the current government regulations regarding workplace setup and configure your current layout to keep your employees safe and comfortable. According to Safe Work Australia, some of the guidelines include practising physical distancing, as well as cleaning the workplace thoroughly on a regular basis. This may require you to move desks around and reevaluate current employee duties to ensure these guidelines are met.

2. Rebuild team morale

Team members may feel less comfortable than usual when they reenter the workplace, and that’s expected. In these strange times – and beyond – make communication your top priority as a business leader. Staying connected to your employees and developing strong, authentic relationships with them can help them feel more comfortable and confident in the office and bring an optimistic light to dark times.

3. Manage workload concerns

Regardless of the amount of time your employees spent working from home, they likely developed new patterns and routines that involved little to no commute and less time getting acclimated at their desks before starting the workday. Heading back to the office means they have to get used to these factors all over again, which could make it difficult to rebalance their workload again. Opening the lines of communication between you and your employees can help you get a grasp on how they’re feeling in terms of their workloads, which can also enable you to provide some breathing room during the transition.

Building resilience in the workplace during tough times and beyond

Now, more than ever, keeping your employees connected and safe is key. They may feel more pressure and stress in the workplace, but there are resources you can provide to help them get acclimated to the new normal and feel confident in their abilities to make the transition.

ICML’s Change Agility and Resilience and Dealing with Change are training programs you can offer early on in the transition to help your employees deal with change and anticipate further adjustments in the future.

We can provide live, impactful workshops in an online classroom or meet with your team face-to-face after the return to the office. Because all of our facilitators are certified in COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Training by the Australian Department of Health, you can feel confident that we’ve taken the precautionary measures to collaborate with you in person if you desire.

For more information on training that involves resilience and dealing with change, contact ICML today.

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