Find yourself in an uphill battle trying to get your staff members back into the office? Discover how to get your employees excited about returning to the traditional workspace with our simple five step guide.
As business owners, we all have days where we wish we could work from home forever. Then the loads of unfolded laundry start distracting you, and the thought of getting back to a traditional workspace suddenly feels more and more appealing.
You’re not the only person who has discovered that working from home isn’t all bad. In fact, the positives have been even greater for your workers. Despite the initial challenges, one-in-three employees now say they’d rather quit their job than return to the workplace. This can be jarring news for business owners ready to get everyone back in the office. Finding a way to build a smooth transition back to normality is vital. The transition must keep the employees best interests in mind. Here’s how you can master the process in just five easy steps.
Tip #1. Be Prepared To Compromise
On the one hand, you want to show your employees who’s boss and tell them “it’s your way or the highway”. Deep down, you know that this approach will play out far better in your head than in reality. Thankfully, you can influence their mindsets by showing a willingness to compromise – while still getting what you want and most importantly, what the business needs.
Employees have shown that they can work from home. Allowing them to do this when they feel ill or the kids are on a school break may work wonders for morale. Good morale in the workspace environment is proven to have a positive direct effect on productivity. By giving your employees a little extra, the vast majority will be keen to repay the favor.
Tip #2. Make The Workplace More Attractive
Viewing the situation from a worker’s perspective is crucial if you want to understand why employees are reluctant to come back to the office. Studies in the UK show that 73% of respondents feel that regular cleaning would make them feel more comfortable about a return to the office in this covid era. It can be assumed U.S. audiences feel the same.
In addition to cleaning, employers looking to master the post-pandemic workflow should focus on creating a physically positive atmosphere. Brighter color schemes, personalized workstations, and a coffee machine can all boost the atmosphere. Embrace it.
Tip #3. Focus On Human Elements
Employees have enjoyed having the extra hour each morning to do their workouts before work (or at least tell themselves they’ll exercise before hitting the snooze button for the 10th time). While they have enjoyed the time to work on themselves, they most likely miss the interactions with other people. Do not be afraid to use those face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) interactions as a source of motivation.
Office fun, team-building exercises, and the promise of staff parties can all have a positive influence. Besides, when colleagues enjoy better relationships, you can spend less time feeling like a teacher punishing naughty pupils and more time being an amazing boss.
Tip #4. Adapt Workflows
Let’s not kid ourselves; some aspects of working from home are pretty cool. Not having to deal with difficult employees is one of them. Your staff members probably feel the same about wasting their time and babysitting colleagues. Addressing these day-to-day mistakes will have a positive impact. Reducing the length of team meetings works well too.
Similarly, you should use this opportunity to rethink your approach to employer-employee management. You’ve hired those skilled workers for their qualities and talents. Stop micro-managing and hindering them. Let them show you their initiative. It worked fine during the pandemic.
Tip #5. Show Empathy
As already touched upon, working remotely is not the enemy. You may find that outsourcing some aspects becomes a long-term strategy. Even when this isn’t the case, accepting that some schools and childcare facilities haven’t reopened is key. Parents care more about their kids than your company – yep, even that energetic, sticky fingers kid that showed up to last year’s fundraiser.
Aside from being a little open-minded regarding schedules, you should remember that this has been a hard time for everyone. As such, implementing an advanced mental health strategy could be a very smart move too. You’ve got this!
The Final Word
Working from home has been a lot of fun, but all good things must come to an end. Thankfully, when you implement the tips above, your return to the office can be a positive and smooth one.
This smooth transition will help boost morale, productivity, and efficiency across the company. Which will be easier for you, great for employees and most importantly, excellent for your business. What more could any owner ask for?