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From AFK to BTW

From AFK to BTW

For the last 6 weeks, there have been a lot of AFK (away from keyboard) notes floating around as we all try to balance and juggle this new normal
AFK  Kids need lunch. |. AFK – my groceries just arrived!  |. AFK – my pig needs a walk. |. AFK – do I smell something burning?  |. AFK – I need a mental health break

But now some of us are beginning to make the transition to BTW. And as challenging, scary and fun as working from home has been, the idea of going BTW may carry the same or entirely different emotions for each of us.

Most of us really have no idea what BTW means or even looks like. And no two situations will be alike. Different locations, different industries, different personalities necessitate a customized response for most businesses. For most of us this transition to BTW, out of our homes and reconnecting with friends, loved ones and colleagues will be a welcome change but also raise questions and concerns.

As you begin to think about heading BTW reflect on the things that have happened over the last few weeks. Our return to the office does not mean that we will go back to the way things were. Federal, state and local guidelines will dictate many aspects of our return to work but there is plenty of room for each of us to ensure those guidelines are working in your company.

To help get the process and your brain thinking about this next phase, we have developed an initial checklist for you and your companies to use and ponder . . . but this is just the beginning.

  • Develop your transition vision
  • Secure adequate PPE and sanitation products
  • Establish the “new normal” at the office so expectations are clear
  • Map out a communications plan
  • Create a welcome back plan for employees when they return – ensure people feel welcome, safe and supported
  • Set a clear process for checking in with employees and updating your plans

There are a number of great resources out there including this video and insights on the 6 foot office.

But most importantly, this process will take time and intention. As you prepare to go BTW, give yourself the space and time to listen to your family, your friends, your colleagues and, of course, yourself. Everything about the situation we are in is new and there is no right or wrong answer. The only things we know for sure is – be kind, stay safe, and wash them hands. (Thanks JT).