The return to the office is already a fact. Within the context of advanced vaccination, some companies have already started to implement their own bubbles.

Does your organization already have an internal communication program to accompany this process? In this article, we explain the importance of planning it and how Oxean accompanies the return to the office.

The challenges of the on-site work

Although 78% of the people surveyed in the Randstad Global Workmonitor study indicated that they would like to return to their workplace when possible, they said they also expect their company to define a hybrid scheme with staggered working hours and health measures that would guarantee health care.

However, not everyone experiences the “return to the office” in the same way. Some people are eager to reconnect with their colleagues – according to this study, more than half of them mentioned, as the main reason, missing the face-to-face interaction with their colleagues – regain their space, and recover a bit of their pre-pandemic routine.

Communication to avoid fear and optimize teams

On the other hand, others are afraid, not only of becoming infected but also of facing a new change and adaptation: the organization of personal schedules, schedules shared with the family, children’s school, leaving the comfort of the home office, among other life situations that have become routine.

The role of internal communication in the return to the office

Being close, always close. Beyond being our claim, this is what the people we work with, need to feel in this time full of uncertainties and fatigue. That we are there, attending to their needs, understanding their concerns and fears, providing security.

Being clear in the messages we issue from the company’s internal communication seems commonplace. However, planning the messages that will be disseminated is key to minimize unexpected reactions or discomfort.

Communication planning: the key to success

In this new context, more than usual, internal communication plays a key role. Therefore, it is essential to plan a Back to the Office Campaign:

  1. Establish the general messages and those targeted to the bubbles that will return to the office.

  2. Provide security from these messages about how the return process will be done, as well as care and protocols that the company will be implementing.

  3. Define channels and formats to disseminate these messages.

  4. Enable feedback channels to maintain fluid communication and to be able to receive concerns and opinions that will allow adjusting processes and messages.

Communication actions for the new context

From Oxean Cross Internal Communication, we have already started to implement back to the office campaigns with great effectiveness, which included several actions:

  • Generation of differentiated protocols for the company’s different audiences and work environments: for example, for people who work in the office and for those who work in the industrial plants, or even by country, according to the different subsidiaries where the company is present.
  • Definition of which messages should be shared in a face-to-face format and which in digital.
  • Development of explanatory materials for the implementation of protocols and awareness-raising so that care is taken and these protocols are respected. Among them:
    • videos that show each instance of the protocol from the moment the person enters the office, everything about how the workday unfolds, to even how to heat their food in the microwave; 
    • didactic animations in motion graphics that explain in detail how the return will be, the number of bubbles, and the days they will attend.
    • Microsites or intranet for COVID-19 protocol.
    • Flyers in hallways and restrooms reinforcing the importance of handwashing, use of masks, and social distance.
  • Implementation of a staged schedule for the campaign execution.

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