Returning to The Office – Tips For Businesses

Posted on Monday, July 26, 2021

Many companies around the globe had to have their employees work from home due to the pandemic. According to the Office of National Statistics, 46.6% of people worked from home in the UK in April 2020. Now in the UK for July, Boris Johnson has stated the Covid-19 restrictions will ease almost completely.

Businesses will need to decide whether to begin a hybrid work-life balance approach or return to the office in a pre-pandemic fashion. Firms will need to keep the operational steps for returning to the office in mind to keep their data secure, employees aware, and get business back up and running as normal.

Hybrid Return Or Complete Return?

Depending on how much the pandemic disrupted business, perhaps returning to a more hybrid style of at-home and in-office employees is right for you. With the two main age groups of 25 – 34 and 35 – 49 having the highest rates of those who worked from home – It’s perhaps preferable to introduce a hybrid system for employees benefit. 

The scope or structure is uncharted territory, so it would require flexibility and learning as you go along.

Policy Updates

As the pandemic began, many businesses had to adapt their policies to accommodate working from home. You likely had to open up your network to employees personal devices, allowing more risks associated with cybersecurity. 

Now, as we return, you will need to review them on a policy-by-policy basis and make the right changes. Companies will need to decide whether to continue this use of personal devices, whether it would benefit production, and ensure staff are aware of the associated risks.

Staff Training

Although you might have done some ad-hoc training via Zoom, more training might be required once you return to the office. For example, training employees on policy changes, health and safety, and network security would benefit your business. 

If your company has a considerable shift in procedures, clearly highlight it to staff and outline the new work routine. For example, you may have been more relaxed about security during the pandemic, but perhaps returning to regular office security practices might be safer for your organisation.

Hardware & Software Audits

It may be an excellent time to conduct an internal or external audit on your hardware and software components. This will verify that everything is top quality, fits the proper standards, and is ready for everyone’s return. Software audits, in particular, will help you:

  • To Verify Licensing Compliance
  • Monitor for Quality Assurance
  • Keep to Industry Standards
  • Compliance with Legal Requirements

Begin by doing internal reviews before external audits to help your organisation become more efficient and bring up issues with licensing, for example. Then the external audit will be more in-depth issues that need to be resolved. 

Check Your Data & Assets

Technology companies and IT organisations rely on their data assets to provide customer value, create or improve products, and make business decisions that lead to growth. 

Therefore, keeping data and assets safe is of high priority. Typically, businesses store data on the behaviours and habits of their customers, giving them a competitive edge and insight into what they need. 

So, you will need to ensure after the lockdown that you are using assets correctly and that employees returning to the office do a full asset check to see if there are any missing items.

Create a Strategy Based On Lessons Learnt

For some businesses, the pandemic offered lessons in how to conduct business in future. Perhaps we are heading to a new work-life balance that helps particularly technology-related products thrive. Here are some things to keep in mind for returning to the office:

  • Attracting Talent – A survey of 1,000 adults in the U.S. discovered that 39% would rather quit their job than fully return to the office. So, asking employees and offering the possibility for remote work could bring in more talent.
  • Team Wellbeing – The pandemic brought mental health to the forefront, outlining a need for employers to consider the wellbeing of those that do the heavy lifting. Having a plan in place to regularly assess and actively seek the betterment of employees health is a great positive action to take into the office environment.
  • Security is Key – Establishing strategies for data and general cybersecurity is wise. The threat of cyberattacks has increased during Covid-19, so train staff, use multi-factor authentication, and keep software and operating systems updated.
  • Keep Adaptability in Mind – Businesses have had to adapt to this extreme global circumstance, begin planning for other possible effects like the possibility of more lockdowns. 

Keeping this adaptable mind frame will help your business see continued success.


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