How to return to the office after Lockdown

How to return to the office after Lockdown

It’s been over a year since the world went on lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. For months, many have either been working from home, on furlough or unfortunately unemployed. Our homes have become more familiar to us and going somewhere different is like opening presents on Christmas Day!

But when it comes to work many have set a new routine and way of planning days. So when the world opens up again many will be back to the workplace; meaning that everyone will need to set a new routine and figure the safest way to return. Whether you are an employee, manager or owner of a company; if you’ve been away from the workplace for a long time, a return to the office may feel strange. So what are the best practices to get back into a working routine? Are there ways to make the transfer easier and safer?

For Employers and Employees

Get into a routine before heading back

Don’t wait until the day to get back into the office routine. Getting used to a new daily routine can take time, so planning and put them into practice will ensure you’re ready. Ways to do this can include:

Setting your alarm

Start by setting your alarm earlier each day/week to re-jig your body clock for when the early hours kick in again

Get dressed as you would for work

Many of us are used to joggers and baggy t-shirts, so getting back into office wear (even if it’s only for an hour or two) will help to get you into the right mindset.

Have everything ready the night before

No one likes to rush in the morning, so having everything ready the night before will help massively. Trying to get all of that together on the morning will give you less time to get ready; and even make you forget a number of things.

Do a journey plan

Once everyone is back in work, the roads will be busy once again. Whether you drive or take public transport, figure out the times you would need to leave to beat the traffic. Some public transport times may change too, so always keep up to date.

Keep COVID conscious

It may start to feel as if life is back to the way it was, but that doesn’t mean forgetting about the reason why this happened. COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time so be conscious about keeping distance and anything you do after work. Some offices/building may require you to wear a mask and sanitise regularly, so keep a spare mask/sanitiser with you wherever you can.

For Employers

Create a staggered return

If your plan is to bring everyone back into the workplace, a staggered return may be the best solution. Bringing all your employers back in at the same time may not be the best (or safest) way. By creating a staggered return, you can ensure that everyone returns to work in a safe and COVID conscious manner.  Staggered returns also give you time to see what works and needs changing/updating to make the workplace safe overall.

More ways to work

The way in which we work is changing; no other time has it been seen than during the worldwide lockdown. The advances in technology and communication have shown more ways to work than ever before. With the introduction of Zoom and other video conference platforms, keeping up to date with progress, meetings and business developments is easier than ever. But how else is it changing? What are businesses starting/looking to do?


One thing that has proved to be effective during the lockdown is that many can provide exceptional work away from the workplace. Previously, it was thought that being ‘in’ work was the best way to get results and hit all the necessary targets. Some employees may have come to the conclusion that working from home is where they thrive. For others, the balance between work and home life becomes easier.


There are many employees out there who thrive on interaction and face to face communication; so working away from the office isn’t for them. If certain employees feel that working from home isn’t suitable for them, being in the workplace is the best option.


Finally, hybrid is the perfect balance between remote and co-located. This way the employee can spend part of their time working in the office and part of their time working elsewhere. This can be done in a number of ways including:

  • • rota basis – specific days in and out
  • • Split week – for example, 3 days could be from home while 2 days are in the workplace
  • • Employee freely choose days to be in the office/from home
  • • Alternate weeks – 1 week in the workplace, 1 week from home and repeat

A study conducted recently showed that 87% workers desire the option to be able to work from home, with 74% opting for hybrid work.


With such a big shift in the way everyone works, it will be strange trying to get the work life back to how it was. But for some it may have shown that work can be done in more ways than ever. Whether you bring everyone back in a staggered return, introduce a hybrid structure or continue to work from home, keeping safe in these uncertain times is vital to bring the world back to its feet.

How 360 Apprenticeships can help

Whether you are looking to an apprentice or start your apprenticeship journey, 360 Apprenticeships can help. We provide a free service from first point of contact to the successful placement of each apprentice. Every apprentice who is successful will only be placed with the best training providers (Graded 1 and/or 2 by Ofsted) so you know that everyone is in safe hands.

You can find out more regarding the apprenticeship scheme on our website. To speak to one of our recruiters directly, you can contact us on:

0161 4644805

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