After more than a year of working from home for many professionals, businesses are starting to re-open their workplaces. With vaccinations at full speed and many eager to get back to “normal,” some workers are nevertheless experiencing mixed emotions about going back to work in the office. It’s important to understand that your employees might have concerns about returning to the office. To help you prepare for this change, we’ve put together some tips for managers to help employees transition smoothly back to work.
Tips to Ensure a Smooth Return to the Office
To help you prepare for this change, we’ve put together some tips for managers to help employees transition smoothly back to work.
1. Keep communication lines open to support employee concerns
Many employees will have questions and concerns about coming back to the office, especially if they have been working from home for the past year. They want to feel safe and secure at work, so it’s important to be open to their concerns and encourage open dialogue. Prepare by writing up a summary of the changes and safety precautions you have implemented.
It is important to help your employees understand all the new rules and guidelines you have in place for them to review as soon as possible. This will also foster trust and give you a chance to explain these changes and address any additional concerns. Many employers are also providing resources to promote employee wellness, both physical and mental. This is another way you can show you care about employees’ wellbeing.
2. Listen and collect employee feedback
Being in the know about your employees’ schedules and how they are feeling about returning to work is a crucial step in this process. Besides having open communication, you also need to collect feedback on the work environment. This will help you find out if there are any issues or concerns that you were not aware of or did not anticipate. You might also want to consider collecting feedback on alternative schedule options (such as hybrid where an employee works from home and in the office) and know what your employees want in order to keep them happy, productive and motivated.
3. Design a plan that works for your organization
Every company is unique and manages its employees and schedules differently. Keep this in mind as you are coming up with the plan to bring your employees back to the office. You may need to take some extra time to evaluate the productivity of your employees working from home, how these changes fit in with your company culture, and how all of this aligns with your business. Once you come up with this plan, be open to changes as you gain feedback from management and employees. Develop plans that work for your business needs and your employee’s needs. Make sure all the options are fair for everyone.
The pandemic has hit all of us in many ways and we’re all trying to be prepared to ensure our employees are set up for success. There have been so many changes that have happened, especially with the way we work. Taking these changes into account is a big step towards keeping your employees satisfied and happy.
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