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Post-lockdown HR Checklist; things to be thinking about after COVID-19

Returning the office

  • Make sure you’re up to date with the .Gov advice on how to keep your workplace safe
  • Carry out a risk assessment to understand your workspace and its limitations
  • Consider how many people you could safely have in your space(s) at any one time
  • Reassess cleaning arrangements paying special attention to high touch areas such as doors, handles, lift buttons, etc
  • Where possible re-map desk seating to meet social distancing guidelines
  • Recalculate meeting room capacity and enforce a maximum number of attendees per meetings
  • Encourage larger meetings to be held over video even when the attendees are all in the office
  • If necessary, keep high traffic communal spaces like kitchens safe by designing a rota system for usage
  • Replace any reusable items with disposable single use (recyclable of course) options – coffee cups, plates, cutlery, tea bags, cereal, milk, etc


  • If you haven’t already, imagine we’re in this for the long haul and invest in getting people equipment for a proper WFH set up
  • As part of an assumed phased return to office working, establish how you will prioritise what needs to be done in the office and by who
  • Look at your pipeline or work for the coming months and anticipate any resourcing needs, do you need to consider furlough, redundancies or even additional freelance support?
  • Consider if any changes need to be made to the design of your organisation, if your business has had to pivot, perhaps your team structures do as well
  • Adopt new technology, equipment or programmes that will enable your new ways of working
  • Assess whether there are any additional training requirements to get people up and running with any of these changes


  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • There is no such thing as overcommunication, in uncertain times people yearn for clarity and leadership
  • Set up an engagement survey so your people have a voice and a forum where they can feel heard
  • Respond to the points raised in the surveys and make changes where possible
  • Remind people of what resources they have available to them especially in relation to physical fitness and mental health support
  • Virtual presenteeism is a real danger so set expectations around working hours and performance, people can’t be online 24/7
  • Encourage people to use their holiday allowance; the prospect of a holiday might not seem that exciting, but its vital people take time away from their screens and manage their stress levels
  • Try to support your people’s individual needs rather than merely rolling out blanket policies

But also remember…

  • This is not an exhaustive list – the situation is ever changing and you need to consider these points in the context of your own business
  • Put yourself first – it’s OK if you’re struggling too, in fact it’s 100% NORMAL, and you can’t look after your people if you’re not looking after yourself
  • Listen to your people – involve them in decision making and respond to their actual needs, not your perception
  • Be honest and open – even if you don’t have all the answers, your people will thank you for it
  • Get creative & don’t be afraid to try things – no one has done this before an no one is perfect; mistakes are bound to be made along the way
  • You don’t have to do everything on your own – lean on people’s passions and ask then to take on side projects, they will be grateful for the development opportunity
  • Reflect & think about the future – what have you learnt from this and what changes might you want to make longer term

Hawkwood have placed Freelance HR Consultants in to brands such as Nutmeg, The Foundry, YouView, Marin Software, Tide and Risk First, among other Tech brands. If you would like to find out more about how our HR Consultants can assist with the implementation of the aforementioned initiatives, please visit