Organizations across the world are considering opening their offices. However, bringing the employees back to the office could be a big challenge now. Many of us have adopted the flexible work culture and are feeling reluctant in going back to the office routine. There are employees who are enthusiastic and want to return to their workplace. The surveys also reveal that one-third of the employees want a flexible work routine to be a norm and wish to continue working from home. This poses a great challenge for the employees and the HR department. It is essential to handle the issue carefully and retain the employees.
Let us discover how you can bring back your employees effectively and what are initiatives you must take so that they return happily.
Whether the company is working remotely or operating from the office, communication is the key. One cannot ignore the importance of communicating it with the team. The senior management and HR department should consider getting in touch with their team to understand their viewpoints.
The employees should be allowed to share their views regarding the issue. Interact with your team members and tell them how you plan on making this change. Discuss the importance of working from the office and how it could impact the overall team culture. This is an issue that needs to be addressed, and the entire team should be a part of the discussion.
It could be a big challenge bringing back all the employees in one go. The difference in opinion of different employees can even lead to conflicts. Therefore, you must consider bringing them to the office in sections. You can ask one batch to come back, and then later you can ask other team members. In the meantime, you can even assure the other employees of workplace safety.
Safety first should be your motto while making this change. If you still have any doubts, you must consider discussing them with your team about their needs and requirements. It will help you understand who plans on returning to the office and who would want to operate from home only.
Working remotely was also a big change for the employees, and everyone had to adapt to it. Similarly, returning to work after such a long gap could be difficult. Flexible working schedules have become a norm for many and many wouldn’t prefer returning. Therefore, it is essential to bring certain changes to the overall functioning of the organization.
For instance, you should minimize the physical contact and should continue switching to more digitally appropriate things. You must ask them to mark their attendance digitally to avoid physical contact and unnecessary touch.
Employee satisfaction and engagement are essential and can make the employees change their decisions. If you are planning to bring back the employees, you must aim to create a space that is warmer and more welcoming. Think about the benefits that you will be able to provide to your employees in the office and communicate it with them. You should also consider changing the ambiance of the office and opt for more comfy chairs.
Transitioning back to the office could be more smooth when the office space is more appealing and attractive. You should consider investing in the office environment and the way it looks. Get better desks and chairs for the employees. Invest and make the workspace cleaner and hygiene. Think about the other perks and how the office space can be reinvented. For instance, you can change the meeting rooms and change the look of the lunch area. You can even consider revamping the parking space and make the entire workspace appealing.
Think about the initiatives you took to connect with your team when you were operating remotely. Try if those solutions can be utilized when working from the office and try to make them a part of the office. The whole point is to embrace technology and reduce physical contact in every possible way.
You should even consider asking the early returns to share their overall experience with the entire team. It is a good initiative and will encourage other employees to return back to the work. For a positive impact, you must also ensure that the above practices are kept in mind.
When you don’t take proper initiatives, the early returners will not have a positive experience. You need to understand that they are the people who are eager to return. Therefore, you must ensure that they get a positive experience as it will impact the decision of other employees.
It can happen that most of your employees might want to work remotely only. In such a case, you can give them flexibility and opt for a hybrid model. You can split the days and ask them to work from the office as well as home. It will provide them the flexibility to work and ensure that their needs are considered. Getting back to the office could be a big challenge for some employees. Therefore, you can consider providing them the flexibility to work and choose your own model for work.
You can adopt these strategies to ensure that the transition to the office is smooth and seamless. You should help your employees adapt to the culture and return to the work. If you are planning on reopening the office, you must also accept that some people might leave work.
It could be their personal choice as they might not prefer working from home. However, you can consider revamping your office and changing the few policies to retain them. You should avoid making strict laws and firing the employees for this decision. It can impact your company’s reputation and values. All the decisions must be taken carefully, considering all the aspects in mind.