Although COVID-19 still poses a threat, some semblance of “normal” life is returning. Many offices around the country have begun opening, but returning to the office after so much time away can be stressful. Here are five things managers should consider when bringing cannabis employees back into the workplace.
Follow local health guidelines
Now that the doors are open, you’ll want to keep it that way. Review local health requirements and make sure your workplace is not in violation of any regulations. It may also be a good idea to check whether enough personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer are on hand. Even if masks are not required by local law, some employees and visitors may feel more comfortable wearing them. Have sanitizer readily available and consider whether or not there is enough distancing between workspaces.
It’s important to understand that returning to the office after almost two years of working at home requires a big adjustment. Managers may want to offer hybrid options, allowing employees to split their time between remote and on-the-premises work. This will allow employees to ease their way back into the office routine. Daily life has changed quite a bit since the pandemic started, and some employees, especially those with children, may require some scheduling flexibility.
Respect work/life balance
The line between our personal and professional lives seemed to get a bit murky during the pandemic. Working remotely can, even if unintentional, create a sense of constant availability. Many in the workforce simply set up a desk in the corner of their home when offices closed due to stay-at-home mandates. Without a distinct separation between the workplace and our homes, it can be hard for both managers and employees to unplug. Managers may want to set a new tone. Even if you grew accustomed to sending emails after hours during the pandemic, consider reaching out after typical business hours only in emergencies.
Press reset on some procedures
Pre-pandemic life may never make a full return, and in some ways that could be a good thing. Now could be the time for managers to take inventory of which processes and procedures actually work. Some offices can seem like life-support for inefficiency. It is easy to fall into a routine and never quite get around to reassessing productivity. As work resumes a somewhat normal cadence, consider making changes before inefficiencies once again take a stranglehold on operating procedures.
Empathy is especially important in times of unusual stress — and no one can deny the past eighteen months have been abundantly stressful. Even though the doors of the office are open, business may not yet be business as usual. Make an effort to understand those you work with and to prioritize their mental health. Consider extra days off to help employees recharge. Most of all, try to put yourself in their shoes.