COVID-19 and Small Business HR & Staffing

5 Tips for going back to the office

Written by Taylor Ridewood

Employees will be returning to the office at some point in the next few months. Many workers will find it hard to readjust.

When running a small business, the pressure of returning to work can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help re-establish yourself and your employees after remote working.

It was difficult to adjust to working from home (WFH) last year, but transitioning back to working in the office may prove just as challenging

Some small businesses weren’t able to move to a WFH model. Businesses in the hospitality sector could not do anything except close their doors and walk away until the storm calmed down; those in other industries such as retail and even construction saw customers and employees walking away from stores and site locations. When people return to the workplace full-time, another period of re-adjustment is to be expected.

Remote working was an adjustment, but most people managed. We dealt with Zoom meetings and practiced self-motivation to get up before 8.55am, but adjusting back to work may prove to be more difficult than working from home..

Employees may have questions and concerns as new rules are in place and expectations grow to ease into the new normal grow… Keep reading to find five easy ways to adjust back into the groove of the office.


Communicating effectively in the early stages of transitioning back into the office will give you and your employees peace of mind. Feeling as prepared as possible is the aim.

Have an understanding of what government guidelines you will need to work with. These might include implementing::

  •     Social distancing (assigning each employee an individual workspace in office environments)
  •     Break room restrictions
  •     Flexible working schedules
  •     Supplying the office/ workspace with hand sanitisers and face masks

Why not have daily meetings or a daily email to update your employees on the situation?

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, communicating with fellow staff has never been more important. A little will go a long way, so maintaining open communication and re-establishing internal communication strategies within your team will prove invaluable.

Work towards rebuilding culture

Your workplace culture might be different. Especially with small business owners, handling and managing employees concerns regarding returning to work can be stressful. When it’s time to return to work, setting aside a few minutes in the morning to participate in a team building exercise can reset the culture of the business.

Something as simple as swapping affirmations or playing a quick game in the morning can help boost self-confidence and offer a positive way to start the day. It doesn’t need to be repeated every morning but starting the morning with some fun and laughter helps set the tone for the rest of the day.

Taking the time to celebrate the wins will foster a positive environment. Returning to work shouldn’t be a negative experience, but it will be stressful. Making time for any kind of positive reinforcement will help you and your employees feel at ease within the workplace.

Practice health and safety

Wearing masks on public transport, carpooling, incorporating a steady supply of hand sanitiser, check-in measures and keeping an eye on social distancing measures are just a few ways to implement health and safety practices. As a small business owner, it’s up to you to make sure that these practises are being upheld by both customers and staff.

As restrictions ease, this will become easier, however, setting and managing the expectation of everyone in your team will help you regain some kind of normality. Chances are, things may never go back to pre-COVID standards, but adhering to government recommendations will keep everyone safe and confident within your business.

Implement working flexibility

A flexible work structure is a great way to offer employees safety and security when adjusting to returning to the workplace.

If you’re a business owner, the shift in health and safety is causing everyone to rethink their workplace strategies. This will include the necessity of bringing people into the workplace.

If you’re in a position to create a flexible working structure, implement it. Even allocating one day a week to working remotely can help people transition back into the office groove. It will also give those who are nervous about relying on public transport a break.

Prioritize self-care habits

Now that we’re back in the swing of things, it can be easy to throw those nice little routines out the window. However, maintaining your self-care habits will help you transition back into working life.

Especially when you’re running a small business, knowing that you’ve got several pressing matters makes it easy to jump back into the deep end and push the little habits to the side.

Maintaining your self-care practices will also help you get through the transition. Especially when running a small business, having a stable work-life balance should always be a priority. Now, it may be as important as ever.

Small habits to fit into the workday can help you bring you back to a state of calm and focus. Meditation, mindfulness practices, morning yoga or even a quick five-minute workout can help bring back some sense of control and serenity to your day.

The pandemic has successfully flipped the work structure across most industry sectors. Now that you’re settling back into working back within the workplace now is a great time to seek out a property valuation for your business.  Having a business valuation completed will help you understand the value of your business in a changing economic climate.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Taylor Ridewood

As the leading registered valuers in Sydney, Valuations NSW can provide you with accurate property valuations services.

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