Giffgaff on taking a ‘phased approach’ to the socially distanced office
While any mass return to offices nationwide has been put firmly on the backburner, Giffgaff has much to learn from the phased approach it adopted to getting some employees back to their desks over the summer.
With the government encouraging people to work from home – possibly for another six months – as a new wave restrictions come into force to suppress the coronavirus, it can feel like a return to the office is further away than ever.
While many businesses hesitated once the lockdown lifted to implement any return to office life, others forged ahead with plans to get a restricted number of employees back on the premises. One such company is Giffgaff and while the mobile network is currently prioritising working from home, the business did learn many lessons from bringing staff back to the office over the summer.
The key was taking a phased approach, explains head of people and engagement, Jo North. Firstly, the aim was to create a Covid-secure environment and then open the office to a restricted number of people who really needed to go back in. For some it was the desire for desk space one day a week, for others it was access to resources like the printer.
“We trialled that for a couple of weeks to see how people felt and then moved into a second stage where we gradually opened some of our meeting rooms, so our teams could use them as a resource to collaborate in a socially distanced way,” says North.
Those colleagues who wanted to go into the office were required to book a desk and get a visitor’s pass to gain entry. While some chose to book a desk in advance, others opted to book just a day out. The team then kept a list of who had booked a desk, so they knew who was in the office and ensured the maximum capacity was not exceeded.