Returning to the workplace is a huge transition for many employees. After more than a year working remotely or otherwise, some individuals may have some reservations about returning to the office. As an employer, there are a number of things you can do to make the transition easier for your staff. Here are some ways to get your team excited about returning to the office.
Start With a Soft Opening
A soft opening for the office can help you, and your staff get back into the mindset of returning full time. Schedule a window of time for people to come into the office before everyone returns. You can make that window a week or even a month to give your employees enough time to adjust.
During this window of time, your staff can stop in and work here and there. This gives everyone the opportunity and time to get to know the office setting again. It will also allow them to mentally and emotionally prepare for the return. Additionally, if any employees have borrowed office furniture or equipment, this is a good time to move it back.
Host a Welcome Back Week
Consider hosting a “welcome back” week. You can set up various events throughout the week to welcome your staff back to the office. Think about it as a celebration of everything your organization has overcome in the last year, and take time to recognize the role each of your employees played in that success.
Make Things More Comfortable
For the most part, people have been living in casual wear and even pajamas over the last year or so. Give your employees the option to be more casual in the workplace over the first few weeks. This will help them ease back into the office. You may even think about adopting a casual dress code moving forward to help employees working a remote hybrid schedule.
Encourage your team to make an effort to socialize with each other. Some of your staff members may feel pressured to not get distracted or hyper-focused on other aspects of returning to the office. While the work getting done is important, reconnecting with one another will be crucial to a successful transition back into the office as well.
Most importantly, you should put time and effort into communicating with your team. There will be a number of people on your staff that may not feel comfortable coming back into the office. They may be concerned about their health, or they may have social anxiety around returning. Others may worry about productivity and interruptions at the office. Whatever perspective your employees are coming from, take the time to talk it out with your team and address their concerns where possible. Maintain an open mind and consider what kind of flexibility you can offer during the transition.
As your team returns to the office, working with a staffing agency can help you fill in the talent gaps. Learn more about A.C. Coy and how we can assist you with your staffing needs.