The Road to Reopening
As many states begin to reopen for business, you may be left wondering how exactly you should approach this new change in the world. Is it best to reopen right away? Can you continue to offer all of the services you once featured? How will the customer experience change? These are questions that many, if not all, business owners are currently considering. So, as you navigate this road to reopening, remember that you are not alone in this; we are all in the same boat navigating the same tumultuous waters, and we will get through it together.
One of the best things to do right now is to overcommunicate with both employees and customers. People feel uncertain about everything, including whether or not they will have a job to come back to or if their favorite company will reopen doors. Even if you don’t have the answers, let them know. If you don’t say anything, people will jump to conclusions and assume the worst, so put their mind at ease with a simple statement such as “We plan to reopen soon, but are still in the process of figuring out the best steps” or “At this time we plan to remain remote but rest assured that we are working towards safely moving back to business as usual at a future date.” Maintaining a line of communication will keep everyone on the same page and remove any room for miscommunication and rumors.
Ease Back to Normal
Things won’t go back to normal overnight, and neither should you. It will take time for employees to transition to a new normal, and you need to make that transition easier for them. Keep in mind that employees have been working from home for months now, and this is their new normal, which they may have finally found comfort in, so don’t expect a perfectly smooth return to normalcy. Once restrictions are lifted, consider bringing employees back to the office for two or three days out of the week and allow them to continue working the other days remotely. This transition will bring comfort and ease rather than throwing them back into the swing of things with no transitionary period. At the end of the day, change is difficult for everyone, and it is essential to acknowledge that we all just went through a rare world-changing experience. You can’t expect one-hundred percent from everyone initially; it will take time, and showing sympathy and understanding will help.
So, although no one has the answers to the hundreds of questions running through your mind about the future, we do know that overcommunicating and easing back to normal will help you, your employees, and your customers pull through together. Have any advice for other business owners? Let us know in the comments below.