Hello! A warm welcome to our blog. After the pandemic reshuffled how work is conducted and disrupted regular routines, a renewed sense of the workplace is needed. In this blog we see how you could make your employees feel at ease about working from the office.
With lockdowns happening on and off as some restrictions ease, we are seeing employees who were working from home return to the workplace. This gives employers a new challenge of making sure employees once again feel comfortable and productive at the office.
Why does helping employees transition matter?
After spending months or even the past year in the confines of their homes, your employees have probably shifted their perspective on productivity at the workplace. With some finding it easier to work from home and others easier to work from the office, it is not an easy task for managers to find the right formula for a productive team.
The disruption in the regular way of work has caused employees to feel disoriented about back to normal office transitions after being away for quite some time. There is a break in the flow of communications, reporting and even socialization. This means that employers should find ways to help employees transition back into the office with new morale and rejuvenation.
Be open to a hybrid workforce
Recent trends suggest that a hybrid workforce, where employees can work both from home and the office, is the best option at least during this period. This is the improved blend of formality and flexibility that managers can give their employees in such times of crisis. This gives employees the ability to choose what they feel is productive given the circumstances. Some may have kids to tutor from home, others older parents for whom they provide care during the pandemic.
Communicate the back to the office strategy
Regularly update your employees on the steps that you are going to take as they get back to the office. As these are new situations, you can easily make your employees feel onboard and take ownership of the decisions by involving them and keeping them updated. Ask your employees what challenges they may be facing in returning to the office and incorporate their feedback in your strategy.
Refresh and connect your employees with your values
After a long period of feeling disconnected, you may find many of your employees disengaged with your business. It is crucial to support them in reconnecting with the mission of the company and what captured their interest in working with you. You may need to evaluate if they have changed their perspective on their career and life goals. If they have, you can help them shed new light on how working with you still supports their objectives and passions.
Provide employees with mental health support
While providing mental health support is always helpful, it is very important to do so after a crisis. Many may be facing increased mental health issues due to the pandemic, isolation, health anxiety, confined work and living space and decreased social activity. Giving your employees a chance to talk to a professional counselor or therapist for free or a subsidized amount would help address any mental health issues that may have arisen or been exacerbated during the pandemic.
Improve your safety policy
As your employees risk getting an infection when coming to work, support them by increasing their safety. Comfortable masks and skin friendly sanitizers should be readily available for your employees to use. You can further support them by providing transportation so they avoid public transport. Furthermore, adjust your sick leave policy so that employees that feel COVID-19 symptoms can opt to work from home without having their pay affected. Allowance for getting tested and having check ups should also be included in your employee health policy. While these safety measures may not be cheap, they are definitely worth making your employees feel they can safely come and work at the office.
Did you find this article helpful? If you need further information or advice about getting your employees refreshed as they reenter the office, feel free to contact us and we will get you connected with one of our experts. AJ Connect helps employers and job seekers find a win-win match for a long term partnership.
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