How to Safely Return to the Office During COVID-19

In some areas of the world, lockdown orders are lifting, businesses are reopening, and many are hoping for a return to normalcy. As a leader, it’s a daily balancing act. I need to run a business, but I also need to ensure my employees are protected and have a safe work environment.

The response to the pandemic has been a mixed bag of emotions, and a source of conflict and disagreement for many. As entrepreneurs and company leaders, we have a difficult task at hand. As a company, you must consider what is best for everyone and learn how to manage fear in an empathetic, yet professional manner. It doesn’t matter the product vertical, sales model, or scale of your business.  At the end of the day, everyone in your organization has a role to play.

StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

With that being said, here are four tips to help your employees handle the stress of returning to the office:


Communication is essential to combat employee anxiety and prevent the spread of misinformation. Share regular updates regarding CDC guidelines, plus your own company policies and procedures.

Employees need to know what is expected of them in terms of social distancing, mask wearing and other practices. There have been many disagreements within these areas, and you need to be prepared for employees who refuse to comply. How will you handle those who continue to openly disagree or those who make others uncomfortable with their behavior?

To ensure that your company culture promotes mental health and wellbeing, make it a priority to establish regular check-ins. Employees should feel safe and comfortable when they return to work. Thus, you will need to follow-up to see how everyone is settling in and ask them what they need from you. By including employees in the discussion, you will help them feel involved and give them a voice during a time when many feel helpless.

Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Boost Their Mental Health

Prioritize health and hygiene

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees always know what’s expected of them and what they can do to prevent the spread of germs. Companies have implemented various forms of COVID-19 prevention, such as mandatory health screenings, biometrics and proximity sensors.

To help manage employee fears, you will need to consider the following:

  • Daily temperature checks: A process will need to be put in place to ensure this runs smoothly, such as employees arriving to work early, and forming lines that comply with social distancing rules.
  • Sanitizing stations: Make sure that hand sanitizer is readily available throughout the office. Consider setting up a designated area where employees are required to sanitize when coming or going.
  • Maintain six feet: If possible, rearrange desks to ensure six feet of space, and limit the number of employees in the office at a time.
  • Regular office cleanings: Establish a routine and ensure that employees keep clean workspaces.

It will take extra work and planning, but a clean and sanitized office will help prevent the possible spread of the virus as well as reassure employees.

Be flexible

While some employees are eager to return to the office, there are others with extenuating circumstances that need to be considered. If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that many positions not previously considered remote can now be performed from the comfort of home. The prospect of remote work has been normalized at this point. Now, many employers and employees alike view it as a standard practice for the workplace.

You also need to remember that employees are not isolated individuals, and that many of them may be responsible for elderly family members or have children at home. Others may be at higher personal risk. In these cases, make accommodations and allow them the choice to continue working from home.

Adjustments will need to be made on a case-by-case basis. We’ve never dealt with something on this scale before, and because of that, there’s room for the typical rules to bend. The most important thing here is that employees are reassured that their safety always remains your top priority.

Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

Provide resources

The pandemic has stripped away our sense of control and safety. Many of us are dealing with the fallout of this new normal, which can take a harsh toll on one’s mental health.

One way to combat this negative mindset is to ensure that your employees have an outlet and the ability to seek help if needed. Your HR department needs to be equipped to manage rising fears and should also be empowered to provide access to counseling, wellness programs and health care.

The only way we’re going to get through this is together, so make team building a priority. There are ways to foster team morale and promote company culture through encouragement, empathy, and communication. Take time to check up on your employees and remember that at the end of the day, they’re going to look to you as a leader.

Key takeaways

You can set the tone for your employees returning to the office. While it will take work, you can provide a safe and comfortable environment that allows your team the best chance to prosper and succeed.

The post How to Safely Return to the Office During COVID-19 appeared first on StartupNation.


[Jump Bikes in KCRA 3] JUMP bikes return to Sacramento streets amid pandemic

Sacramento Vice Mayor Jeff Harris said in a statement this week, “As our community gradually reopens, it’s imperative that we have clean, accessible and reliable transportation alternatives that make it easy for people to leave their cars at home.”

Read more here.

The post [Jump Bikes in KCRA 3] JUMP bikes return to Sacramento streets amid pandemic appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

[Jump Bikes in Daily Democrat] Shared bikes and scooters return to Davis, West Sacramento

The Regional Bike Share Policy Steering Committee has approved the assignment of the JUMP agreement to Lime, putting bikes and scooters back on the streets of West Sacramento, and Sacramento starting Saturday.

Read more here.

The post [Jump Bikes in Daily Democrat] Shared bikes and scooters return to Davis, West Sacramento appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

The Basics of Creating a Useful Return Policy for E-Commerce Growth

If you run an e-commerce business, know that your return policy tells customers how much you’re willing to work with them if something goes wrong. Policies build trust and help people know they’ll be taken care of, or if their frustrations are going to be ignored. Return policies tell customers how much you value them and the service you’re willing to provide. That means a good policy can increase reputation and sales, while a lousy policy can lead to revenue losses. If you get it right, you can even use returns as a marketing tool by showing how satisfied customers are and how well you help.

StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

To master the return policy and learn how it can even boost revenue, let’s look at what makes a good policy and the elements to consider within it:

It might be the law

Return policies usually start by focusing on the intersection with you and your customer, but there’s another critical juncture to consider: your business and the legal requirements of selling products. In many states, there are returns and refund laws, as well as some federal policies. In most cases, you need to have a return policy.

More often than not, your customers usually have three days to change their mind about a purchase, and you’ve got to accept returns for defective merchandise. Start by learning what’s mandated.

Keep requirements clear

Once you understand what is required of you by law, start to flesh out what you will require of customers and the products sold.

Define what you will and won’t take back, as well as what customers need to make a return. For example, you might not accept returns for anything that’s opened but is working correctly. Customers may need to return something within a certain number of days or contact your support team first. Make everything clear and as inclusive of all types of products you sell.

Don’t hide your policy or make things difficult to understand. When you’re clear, customers know what to expect, and it can positively impact how they feel about your business. Plus, it limits the risk of customer service interactions in which someone is upset that they misunderstood your returns requirements.

Simplify the label process

One of the best things you can do for your customers is to make return shipping easy. Stand out from your competitors by automating elements, especially creating return labels. Build out a section of your website or use your e-commerce and order management software to allow people to see orders, select what they’re returning, and click to create and print a label.

Doing so removes a lot of the headache and can turn a typically arduous process into a positive experience. Customers will be relieved that the process is simple and may even be more likely to buy from you again. Reducing stress around returns can also make customers more willing to accept things like store credit.

Give yourself a more significant boost by also making returns free. A free return is generally easier to automate with software and platforms, plus it’ll make your customers feel more comfortable with the process. But first, ensure you can afford this. If you’re concerned about it, try baking in some potential returns costs into product costs or require a specific order value for a free return.

Related: How to Make Passive Income with a Dropshipping Store

Make it easy to find

After your policy is created and added to your website, find ways to link it to every page where you provide company information and where you offer products. You want your return policy (or at least a link to it) to be visible at any given moment, because it builds trust and reassures your audience about their potential purchase.

If you think your policy is simple and effective enough to be a competitive advantage, go beyond just an FAQ page and create a small blurb that you can put near the footer of sales pages. If you’re adding a chatbot for 24/7 sales and customer service support, teach the bot about your returns policies. For complex policies or those with restrictions, help your bot learn how to state the broad elements and then specifically call out that customers should read the entire policy.

Follow the strong UI practices you’re already using for your site to keep the policy visible.

Test and demonstrate

Don’t get stuck with a theoretical policy that fails in practice. Create your return policy and thoroughly test it as a regular customer would use it.

Make a purchase. Follow the steps for the return. Then, monitor your return to ensure that you get all the right emails and communications for labels and more. See if you get the right confirmation and how long it takes for money to be put back on a card or for a returned item to be sent. Repeat this a few times for products that can and can’t be returned. Test the system out to see if procedures are followed correctly.

After you’ve tested your return policy and are ready to roll it out, highlight this experience for your customers. Showcase how they’ll return something and what the process looks like. Not only do you want an explanation, but a visual can help significantly, too. Illustrating the process makes things a lot easier for people to follow and often makes them feel more comfortable.

Work with customers

The returns process is often stressful for everyone. Customers will be upset that something didn’t fit or arrived broken. You’re frustrated because there’s a potential revenue loss, and warehouse and sales teams have more work to do to get back where they were.

Take a minute to help your customers out and try to create a positive experience. This isn’t a defined part of the strategy you put in writing, but a company cultural element. Give your service team steps and actions to engage with customers in order to try to make things right. If you make a mistake or an accident happens, try to resolve things as seamlessly as possible.

Discounts, coupons, credit and freebies can all be robust tools to make up for a mistake. And, as you likely know from your own experience, few things are more helpful than when a company admits a mistake and apologizes without causing a fuss. Handle things right, and your customers are likely to reward you.

Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

Why do it? More sales

While there’s a lot of customer service focus when it comes to a return policy, you also have some solid business cases to make for creating a good one.

The best business reason for spending time on returns is that they can generate better sales and revenue for your business, even when customers use the policy. If you make returns simple, most customers will buy from you again.

A 2019 survey by UPS found that 73 percent of those surveyed said that the returns experience impacted whether or not they would buy from a retailer again.

Since we all know that it’s easier and more affordable to get a repeat sale than find a new customer, helpful and stress-free returns policies can have a significant impact on your growth.

Similarly, a ReBOUND study notes that customers who have negative experiences during returns are less likely to shop with you again. And the younger your audience, the higher likelihood that a poor experience will end their shopping.

Key takeaways

Return policies are just one way in which customers will interact with you. It’s a customer service opportunity, creating risk and potential reward. Build a policy that’s easy to understand and find, and your customers will appreciate it.

Making returns easy to accomplish can go a step further and help people come back to buy from you again. Think of it this way: build the policy that you’d want to use next time you have to return something.

The post The Basics of Creating a Useful Return Policy for E-Commerce Growth appeared first on StartupNation.


Do you have a strategy how to return churn users? (SaaS)

Hi, I have SaaS service (1.5 years) for web designers, product managers and digital marketing specialists with 12% (last 6 months) churn rate. Maybe you know how to return churned users (emails, promo code, etc) or reduce this churn rate.

Thank you so much if you have any advice for this.

submitted by /u/avasilevsky
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!