Now that we are in a post-pandemic world, many workers are choosing to work from home rather than going into the office. This can be a significant problem for businesses that rely on those workers to keep things running.
Not all businesses want their staff to continue working remotely full time, and some have been preparing for a return to the office in some form or another.
Hybrid working – where employees will split their time between home and the office – will be the way forward for many.
Whether employers want to attract people back to the office part-time or full-time, there are several factors to bear in mind. Not only is it essential to balance the needs of employees with those of the company, but it is also crucial to understand why people are reluctant to return.
How can we persuade them to come back to the office?
Besides managing trust and empathy, employers should give employees a reason to return to the office. If working from home is more productive for them, why would they want to leave the comfort of their homes?
Some ways businesses can persuade workers back to the office are by:
Providing Leadership by Senior Management
Naturally, the safety of employees is the top priority for any company, but what comes next? How do you get employees to WANT to return to the office post-COVID? It starts from the top down. If your senior management team is not supportive of or invested in returning to the office, it will not be easy to persuade employees to return.
Supportive and invested leadership will set the tone for the rest of the company, and employees will be more likely to follow suit. Leaders need to be clear about the benefits of returning to the office and how it will help the company and its employees succeed.
They also need to be transparent about the safety measures that have been put in place to protect employees and reassure them that their safety is the top priority.
Leaders need to be supportive of employees who are hesitant about returning to the office. They need to understand their concerns and address them head-on. Only then will employees feel comfortable enough to return to the workplace.
Offering incentives such as bonuses or raises
One way businesses can persuade workers to return to the office is by offering incentives such as bonuses or raises. This will show employees that their work is valued and that the company is committed to their safety. It will also motivate them to come back and be productive in the workplace.
Another way to persuade workers back to the office is by offering flexible hours. This will allow employees to have a better work-life balance and feel more comfortable coming into the office. It will also show that the company is willing to accommodate their needs.
However, when an employee works from home, there’s almost no work-life separation, which can lead to burnout. By getting employees to return to the office, you create some healthy division that will ultimately make them happier.
Hybrid Working Arrangements
A hybrid working arrangement is when an employee works from home part of the time and comes into the office for the rest of the time. This can be a good compromise for employees who want to stay at home but still need to go into the office occasionally.
This arrangement will allow employees to get the best of both worlds and feel more comfortable going into the office. It will also show that the company is willing to accommodate their needs.
Allowing more paid time off
Another way to persuade employees back to the office is by allowing more paid time off. This will show employees that the company values their work-life balance and is willing to accommodate their needs. It will also motivate them to return and be productive in the workplace.
Making the office more comfortable and enjoyable
One of the best ways to encourage workers back to the office is by making the office more comfortable and enjoyable. This can be done by adding amenities such as a gym, a coffee shop, or a daycare. This will make employees feel more comfortable going into the office and make them want to stay longer.
It is important to remember that each employee is different and what works for one may not work for another. It is essential to find out what motivates each employee and use that to persuade them back to the office.
Improve Health and Safety Standards
Employees are generally worried about two things when it comes to returning to the office: their health and safety. To persuade employees back to the office, businesses need to improve their health and safety standards. This can be done by:
- Installing hand sanitising stations
- Requiring employees to wear masks
- Providing employees with personal protective equipment
- Wiping down surfaces in shared spaces
- Hand washing and sanitising regularly
- Encourage covering mouth when people sneeze or cough
- Staying home when sick
- Encouraging employees to get the flu shot
You can also hire a professional cleaning company like us to clean and disinfect your office regularly. This will show your employees that you are committed to their safety and taking the necessary precautions to keep them safe.
Communication is Key
The most important thing you can do to persuade your employees back to the office is to communicate with them. It would help if you let them know what you are doing to improve their safety and why you think it is vital for them to return to the office.
You also need to be understanding of their concerns and address them head-on. Only by communicating with your employees and addressing their concerns will you be able to persuade them back to the office.
Building Good Work Relationships
One of the most compelling aspects of working in a physical office is the ability to forge personal relationships with co-workers. Ensure you create an environment conducive to healthy interpersonal relations.
People will be much happier about coming into the office when they feel like they have deep connections with their co-workers. This can be achieved through team building, meals and other activities.
The future of work is uncertain but what is certain is that businesses need to be prepared for it. Employers can either adapt or be at a competitive disadvantage in attracting and retaining talent.
The way businesses operate has changed and will continue to change. Businesses need to be flexible and adaptable to survive. Employees will be hesitant to come back to the office, and it is up to businesses to persuade them.
This can be done by improving health and safety standards, offering flexible hours, allowing more paid time off, and making the office more comfortable and enjoyable.
Again, it is essential to remember that everyone’s situation is different, and not everyone will be ready or willing to return to the office. Employers should do their best to accommodate those workers and make them feel comfortable with whatever decision they make.