Life back in the office will represent a complete change to your business. You'll need to undertake a change management program to help your staff adjust.

Your key to success will be to; plan thoroughly and collaboratively with your people; implement your plan skilfully; and, most importantly, promote the new etiquette expected from your people with clarity and integrity.

Your communication plan will need to address specific details, which are critical for safety and hygiene. “Back-to-Office Change Champions” will be critical to making your message heard. Regular reviews, refinements and repetition will build on a successful implementation.

Choose Your Change Management Team

    • Select your “Back-to-the-Office" change champions.

    These will ideally be people who train, communicate and are points of contact providing procedural clarity, and:

    1. Have influence over others;
    2. Are senior enough to make decisions;
    3. Know your business inside-out; and
    4. Are great communicators.

Branding tip

It's important to phrase your return to work communications so that they stand out from normal, 'business as usual' messages. Establishing channels for colleagues to openly ask questions or voice concerns will be crucial in ensuring everyone feels engaged in this change journey.

Reasons to return to the office

  • It's important your teams know when they should come into the office and when they should continue to work from home. For most roles, in the immediate future, staff should continue to work from home unless they have a critical reason for commuting into the office.

    • Face to face meetings
    • Technology or facilities unavailable from home

Reasons to work from home

  • This is still the preferred way for office-based workers to continue to work. If they can work from home, then they are encouraged to do so.

    • Follows government advice
    • Reduces contact with others
    • Work/life balance
    • Culturally acceptable
    • Reduced office capacity

Choose your channels + mediums

  • It's important to get your message out there as wide as possible. Not all of your employees may have regular access to each communication channel, and some may understand different mediums better than others. That's why it's important to diversity your approach.

    • Email
    • Intranet
    • Posters
    • Conference calls
    • Videos
    • Infographics
    • Stickers

Develop your messaging tools

  • It's important to reinforce your messaging throughout your office. After all, this is a new process for everyone, so plenty of gentle reminders may be required.

    • Circulation path markers
    • Handwashing and sanitising instructions
    • Distancing and protocol reminders
    • Cleaning and disinfecting guidelines
    • Room capacity reminders
    • Guidelines on sending/receiving post and packages (internal and external)

Information for visitors

  • You may still be hosting guests in your office space, and it's important that they are provided with the same guidelines as your normal office-based staff.

    • Entry point signage to communicate how procedures are being implemented
    • Documents for external personnel on your protocol for receiving inbound deliveries

Ongoing communication

  • It's crucial to keep in touch with all of your office and home-based staff, regardless of if they have 'returned to work' yet. This ensures everyone is on the same journey together and no-one feels left behind.

    • Regular updates
    • Open feedback channels
    • Health and support contacts