After two months of lockdown we are entering an even more challenging time for managers. When everyone had to work at home if at all possible and there was no choice, we all pulled together. It was an emergency and people were prepared to adapt and cope as best as they could.

Now some people are able to come back to the workplace whilst others have good reasons to stay away. As more businesses open up, some children get back to school and we get more used to social distancing we face a long period of mixed working patterns. Home working has worked very well for some employees and they don’t see why they have to commute on a daily basis and expose themselves to the virus unnecessarily. Many workplaces can’t implement social distancing guidelines if everyone comes back anyway.

This gives you the challenge of running a team of people partly still at home and partly coming in. Does this mean you should come in yourself to ‘set an example’? Maybe that’s a bad example because it puts pressure on vulnerable employees to travel when they shouldn’t. There are no clear cut answers to many of the dilemmas we are facing.

While this is happening it’s even more important to reassure staff that they are valued, whatever their working situation. Whether they stay at home or venture back to the office, they need to know they have your support. So make sure you don’t forget to go out of your way to say “thank you” and “well done”.