If you’re an IT professional working for one of the companies that are returning to regular hours at the office, then you may have your fair share of concerns. Whether you’ve been working from home or you’re returning from furlough, getting back into the swing of things during these confusing, unprecedented times may take some getting used to.
For many, there’ll be anxieties and concerns over being in the workplace and even travelling to work in the first place. They’ll want to know that their employer is aware of the social distancing needs and possible medical action required when re-opening their offices; the health and safety of employees during this period is imperative. Therefore, it’s essential returning workers know of the practices that are being put in place to protect colleagues and reintegrate them back into regular working hours.
As an IT professional, you’ll be used to working on both your own and your fellow employees’ technology and equipment. These kinds of close-quarter duties are likely to differ in the aftermath of COVID-19, which may necessitate different means of carrying out your role. Here, we’ll take a look at the things you can do to help make your return to work as safe and smooth as possible.
Returning to work from furlough
Whether you’ve spent your time during furlough completing Netflix or putting the finishing touches to a novel, going back to work is certainly an adjustment after spending so much time at home. If you’re daunted by the prospect of working once more, worrying that you may struggle to get back into the grind, then you’re unlikely to be alone. After months of not having the same structure to your days that work provides, mentally preparing for your return can be difficult.
Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make the transition a little easier, such as the below:
– Create structure
If your hiatus from work is ending soon, it’s good to put some routines in place in the run-up to things. If you’ve been used to lie-ins over the past few months, then start to get into the habit of getting up and going to bed at a certain time. Likewise, if your appearance has taken a nosedive, then ditch the joggers and start wearing attire similar to what you’d wear to work; this can be a big self-esteem boost and get you into a more productive state of mind.
Once you’re back at work, try mapping out the hours of your day to ease yourself back into a routine, setting out clear lines of demarcation for breaks. If you end up over- or underestimating how long certain tasks are taking, then you can adjust the time accordingly.
– Talk to your colleagues and manager
If it’s been a while since you’ve spoken with your manager, then it’s worth asking for a “return to work” meeting with them to talk through any concerns you’re having in the run-up. Not only is it good to touch base, but it will allow your manager to understand your situation. Furloughed staff will have all had their own individual experience, and it’s important for managers to understand this to better ease their team back into work.
– Discuss flexibility
The pandemic has altered the way many businesses have approached work, introducing things they wouldn’t previously have done in their day to day. As you approach returning from furlough, ask your manager or employer if a certain degree of flexibility can be implemented to make your return smoother. Discuss the possibility of starting on reduced hours, flexible start and end times, and a staggered return into the office to minimise the amount of contact with other employees if necessary.
Maintaining safety in the office
Your employers should have done their utmost to make the workplace as safe as possible for its returning workers. As of the discretionary 1 August return to work date, a strict code of measures is to be followed, which includes:
- Observing the “1-metre plus” rule of social distancing
- Introducing one-way systems to minimise contact
- Frequent cleaning of objects in communal areas
Of course, the key protection and hygiene measures will continue to apply to reduce the spread of infection. Staff will therefore be reminded about regular and effective handwashing, with employers providing hand sanitiser where necessary.
As an IT professional, you’ll be coming into contact with hardware and equipment frequently, and often, this may belong to other members of staff. For instance, if you’re required to fix an issue with another employee’s computer, you’ll likely end up using their mouse, keyboard, and other equipment in its vicinity. Therefore, it’s crucial for the safety of both you and your employees that you maintain the appropriate measures.
Always wash your hands (for 20 seconds) before and after coming into contact with any equipment used by other employees, and use hand sanitiser frequently. If you feel it’s necessary, then consider wearing rubber gloves if you’ve been called on to deal with an IT issue involving other’s hardware. At the end of the day, you should also wipe down your phone, keyboard and mouse with an anti-viral cleaner.
Alternatively, if you want to avoid contact entirely, then remote access software can help you fix issues on other employees’ computers remotely. If you wish to minimise contact as much as possible upon your return to work, then it’s worth bringing up with your manager to see if remote access software can be made a possibility.
CDL is one of the UK’s leading IT disposal companies, working to help private and public businesses and organisations safely retire and recycle their outdated IT assets. To find out how we could help your business, or more of the latest tech news and advice, visit our homepage or call our team today on 0333 060 2846.