How to: Prepare staff for returning to the office - NPIT

How to: Prepare staff for returning to the office

Einat Aronberg

Now that Covid-19 restrictions are easing, employees are looking to return to work and some semblance of pre-pandemic normality. With this in mind, it is important that you make plans for IT infrastructures and security, the safeguarding of staff and the changes in working.

Risk assessments and safety measures 

When reintroducing staff to the office environment, whether full or part-time, it is important that employees feel safe and secure. From working policies to the functionality of equipment, employee well-being needs to be the first priority.

From an IT perspective

It is important that your IT infrastructure is well suited to fit the needs of your employees in the workplace. As staff have mostly worked from home, there is a great possibility that your devices are going to need updating. 


Ensure that you have the right networks and equip staff with Wi-Fi that gives them decent download and upload speeds. It is important to ensure they’re able to effectively carry out their daily tasks. A poor internet speed can cause staggered communication between clients, staff, and others. It can also influence the speed in which files are being sent out or uploaded online.


The devices your employees’ use will need to be fit for purpose. Having an old device can be frustrating as it will most likely run slow. Additionally, depending on how old the device is, it may not be compatible with the software required for the job. This isn’t to say you need the most expensive computers or laptops out there. Especially as there are a lot of low budget devices that have good processors and CPUs. With sufficient research, you will find great products within your budget, allowing you to spend smart. 


Having anti-virus and password protection software on both your in-house computers and hybrid workers laptops/computers is a big must. Firstly, anti-virus software helps you stay safe on the internet by blocking popups and will evade any unsafe downloads. Secondly, the software can scan your computer for any viruses you might already have and exterminate them. Anti-virus software can also clean through your computer, deleting (per your permission) any files that hold no value. Once deleted, you will have the added benefit of space freed up on your hard drive. As for password protection, it is very common that there will be passwords that you need to share between employees. It is therefore a good idea to have a no-access-unless-granted hub for all the passwords that simultaneously keeps them safe. Lastpass is a great solution for this.

Hybrid and Full-Return  

Hybrid workers split their time between WFH and being in the office, a great initiative for boosting work-life balance.

As they’ll be working from two locations, it’s a good idea to get them linked up with a cloud solution like Teams or iCloud. These secure solutions allow them to access their data from anywhere. 

Office workers will need to be reacquainted with the office setup. This is particularly true if there have been changes or updates by IT while workers were away from the office. 

While we seem to be coming out the other side of the pandemic, future lockdowns and isolation are still a possibility. Ensuring your employees are set up for an easy transition back to home working is crucial for maintaining seamless service. New processes and company policies are important. Hence, ensuring these are communicated effectively and adhered to, will help futureproof your remote-working infrastructure.

Hot desking

Many companies are realising that they no longer need big, expensive offices. Instead, they can adopt the idea of ‘hot desking’. Hot desking is the process in which multiple employees share a desk on alternate days or at alternate times.

The pros to this include:

  • Fewer desks to sanitise
  • An opportunity for employees to collaborate

From an IT standpoint,

  • Allows your IT group to log in to any device with ease
  • Provides access to secure data
  • Be able to set your permission levels
  • Be able to assess and resolve issues remotely as well as on the premises. 

These are just a few ways in which you can plan for and undertake the task of reacquainting your staff while ensuring their safety and ability to carry out their roles.

What processes and policies has your company put into place to ensure a smooth transition back to normality?