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How we slowly welcomed back our people to the office

After WFH for 8 weeks we decided to look into how to slowly and especially carefully welcome back Emakinians back to our Amsterdam office. How do you work towards a new normal? Here is a breakdown on how we went about it. 

The start

We sent out a survey and asked for everyone’s preferred situation. We asked who would like to work from the office one day a week. Some of our colleagues wanted to work from the office again. 

We divided small groups of max. 12/13 people per day, divided over our 3 floors, everyone at least one day per week. 

HR and Office Management wrote strict guidelines and shared these beforehand, so it was clear for everyone what was expected of them at the office. These guidelines were (and still are) updated with each development.

The Office

Our HR & office management had a proper look at the office, the floors, meeting rooms and common areas, they analyzed what would be the best routes and what could be easy locations for people to bump into each other etc. Collectively, keeping national safety regulation of a 1.5 meter distance society in mind. In the end we came up with a proper route through the office, minimizing the use of common areas. This route is mapped out on the floor with clear arrows and stop signs around the office. 

We also thought of common use of office supplies, like the coffee machines for example. At the moment there are coffee machines on each floor/department and there are clear instructions on how to use these machines ensuring we keep up with the safety-regulations set by the government (washing hands, cleaning the machine after use, etc.). 

We also thought about lunch. Lunch is transferred to the office according to safety regulations by our supplier, everything is packed separately. Each department has lunch consequently. 

The Retrospective

We reviewed each week together with Office management what was working and what not. After 2-3 weeks of running this trial we can conclude that the trial is running smoothly. All the safety regulations are clear and we can see that people very much enjoy being back. 

First day back

This is all in regards of colleagues living in Amsterdam, we decided to wait in regards of employees who have to travel by public transportation.

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