Manchester Digital guidance prepares offices for returning to work


Manchester Digital, the not-for-profit trade body that represents digital and technology businesses across Greater Manchester, has launched practical guidance for employers around reopening buildings and returning employees to work as restrictions are slowly eased.

With around a quarter of the UK’s private sector workforce now on furlough, many businesses will be thinking about how they can slowly and safely start bringing some employees back to work. Latest Google trends data revealed UK searches for ‘office reopening’ and ‘back to work’ peaked during the period between 26.04 and 09.05, with a huge surge in searches.

Created in partnership with senior HR specialists from Manchester Digital’s Employer’s Forum group, the guide lays out key considerations for employers in a number of categories including: people, office environments, employee health, home working, business travel and visitors, holidays, and communications.

Businesses can use the guide as a checklist to ensure they have considered a number of eventualities across these categories. It is available free to all businesses and can be downloaded here.

Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital, commented:

“COVID-19 has impacted businesses in a way we could have never imagined. Even with restrictions eased slightly, the virus still presents a high risk, which will impact how businesses operate, and in particular how and when offices can safely re-open. Our free guide is intended to pose questions and considerations to employers as they’re thinking about the short, medium and long term plans for their business operations post lock down. Of course, change is inevitable, so employers will need to remain flexible and able to respond quickly.”

Manchester Digital has remained committed to supporting the region’s digital and tech ecosystem since the crisis began through a number of initiatives, including free support for businesses, lobbying Government for better support for small businesses, and offering free memberships.

To find out more about how you can access your free membership, visit