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Returning to Your Office

Safely and Efficiently

Posted in Professional Development

Author: Jen Dugan

All things good or bad, must come to an end, even shutdowns and stay at home orders. There has been increased anticipation for things to return to normal with the thought of the end in sight. A few companies have begun to reopen their doors, even so, it's happening in waves. Depending on your state, you may be opening shortly as well. So here are a few things to keep in mind that will make your return to work smoother for both you and your company.

Returning to the Office
  • Office Cleaning 
    • Having the office cleaned before the staff returns will be a requirement. Because of this, professional cleaning companies will be in high demand, so it should be considered early on in your return to work plan. 
  • Phases 
    • When you bring your staff back to the office, its best to do so in phases. First, decide which staff is needed first in the office, then create your schedule based on which associates are critical to your office environment. Once you have a plan of action in place, look at the layout of your office. In order to maintain social distancing guidelines, all associates' work spaces must be six feet apart from one another.  
  • Equipment Return 
    • Upon return to the office, associates may need to return any equipment they were using at home. This list of equipment can include things such as computers, phones, software, etc. The easiest way to keep track of all this incoming equipment is to put a spreadsheet together. Jot down who has what equipment, so you can ensure every item has been returned. Remember, the more organized you are now, the better it will be in case it happens again.  
  • Office Coverage 
    • With the weather getting nicer and summer around the corner, time off requests will soon pile up. If you don't already have a system in place to keep track of time off and proper office coverage, I suggest building another spreadsheet. Creating a six-month calendar will allow you to keep track of all previous time-off requests, and who is taking time off soon. Having this spreadsheet will help ensure that you have enough coverage for your office while still being understanding that people have been away from friends and family for an extended time. 

Marketing & Communication
  • Community Outreach 
    • Staying connected with your customers and community is essential, especially when you're reopening your doors. A great way to keep in front of the public eye is to use social media! Post updates, host web calls and interact with your community all in one place. You can also start creating an email marketing strategy or something more traditional such as a direct mail campaign or a more promotional campaign if finances allow.  
  • Community Involvement 
    • If the government only allows certain businesses, initially, to open, that could be a marketing strategy. Use this time to make your existing clients feel special, thank them for staying with you during this difficult time.  A great way to support both your customers and the community is to shop locally. Use local flower shops, bakeries, any local business, and send them a nice message or gift basket. Support your customers while supporting your community at the same time; it's a win-win! 
  • Lost Business 
    • If you lost any accounts during this time start reaching out to those accounts. To win the clients back, consider how you add value to their business, and give specific examples. If the business is closed right now, let them know you are there for them when things open back up! 
Emotional Intelligence 
You will need to go into interactions and conversations with people with more sensitivity.   
  • Keep in the back of your mind that people may have lost family or friends during the pandemic.    
  • Most people have been home with their families for a prolonged period, and it might be harder to readjust.   
  • What makes one person anxious could be completely different from another person.   

In insurance we have always had to wear many hats, we have been there for people through so many different life events. Now, more than ever, people will be looking to you for guidance. Be consistent, keep communication open, and show your compassion for their situations. It will be ok; we all are all in this together.   

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