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Ferris wheel; the last few months have been like a roller coaster, but now it's time to make a safe return to work

Returning to a Safe and Healthy Office Work Environment Series – Blog 1: The New Normal

By Brie DeLisi

Have the last few months felt like a rollercoaster? It is time for us to embrace the new normal, in which nothing is ‘normal’ anymore. This blog series will explore options for returning to the office (or not), what the new workplace might look like, and how to best prepare for what might be a long period of uncertainty.

For the physical work environments, we’ll need to consider how to best structure the new office, or whether we want our workforce to return to an office setting at all. The key to approaching this process is to identify options and the flexibility within those options. Asking ourselves ‘what if’ for every plan that we build in order to conduct the highest level of risk management for the workforce. In later blogs, we’ll explore in depth how to approach each phase of this strategy.

The most important aspect of these transitions will be communication and engagement with our workforce. Change is difficult and uncertainty creates a host of emotional responses that impact productivity. Engaging employees in the transition process will be helpful from several perspectives to ultimately support a safe and healthy work environment.

Planning the Future

As for the future – these unprecedented events have opened our eyes to gaps in organizational systems and structures. This is a unique opportunity to find the lessons learned and develop contingency plans for the near and distant future. We can identify gaps and develop solutions to be better prepared for the unexpected.

As a consulting firm specializing in these areas, Propulo is an expert in the space of safety culture, process improvement and organizational culture transformation – all of which are components that can support the successful navigation of customer needs. Our experience and knowledge in challenges like these have allowed us to help our clients weather the storm and succeed through challenging these times.

Read more from this blog series: 

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Our Internal Narrative: What can we actually control during a time of crisis

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Internal Locus of Control and Covid Re-Entry