Coming back from the COVID lockdowns has been a bumpy road. Even with most of the restrictions now largely in the rearview, companies have struggled to get employees back to the office. One survey showed that about 50% of business managers were planning to bring their workers back full-time in 2023.
Is your team ready for the resumption of in-person collaboration? The switch could lead to some grumbling. Employees got used to their remote lifestyles, making a return to the office a difficult transition. However, there are steps you can take to get your staffers more excited about limiting their virtual operations.
With that in mind, here are a few tips you can use to bring back the energy as you bring back your workers:
Keeping Employees Engaged While Returning to the Office
Share Your Vision
Inspire your workers with a broader mission. Let them know that their sacrifice is appreciated and will contribute to your ability to reach the company’s higher goals. By sharing this vision, you’ll get more buy-in from your returning employees.
Explain the Value of In-Person Collaboration
Getting back to the office has benefits. It’s helpful if you can convince your employees of these upsides. Lay out the arguments for in-person collaboration — share statistics and case studies. This way, your team members will know the reasoning behind the effort.
Provide Adequate Support
The switch from a full-time remote situation to one that emphasizes in-office operations comes with complications. Many of your team members will face a difficult transition. As such, you should take the appropriate steps to smooth the process.
Recognize that your employees will need help along the way. Your returning workers will face challenges that are both mental and logistical. Work with them to minimize these hurdles.
Talk to your employees about the transition back to the office. This includes keeping them up to date with policies and timelines. Beyond this, you also want to solicit feedback from them. Learn what you can do to make things easier for your staff.
Stay Open to Feedback
Gathering feedback is only the first step to the process. You also want to integrate that information into your plans. Stay open to updating your process based on incoming data. That includes learning from your workers and adjusting your expectations accordingly.
Offer Flexible Scheduling
A return to the office doesn’t need to be absolute. Don’t turn the situation into a binary choice: 100% remote or 100% in-person. Rather, stay flexible about your schedule expectations, leaving some leeway for a hybrid structure.
Focus on Retention
As you think about how to transition back to in-office work, fold those considerations into a broader program. Balance your desire to maximize production with the need to keep your best performers with you for the long haul. Develop a comprehensive plan for retention that branches off your near-term need to bring people back together.
Make your employees want to return to the office. Studies have shown that remote work has led to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. As such, coming back to in-person collaboration has the appeal of improved social connection. Lean into this natural benefit by finding ways to build connections among coworkers.
Showcase Your Corporate Culture
Strengthening the bonds between your workers and maximizing the value of collaboration is more than just business goals. They also represent important pillars of your corporate culture. By emphasizing this broader theme, you’ll increase buy-in and frame the return to work in an expanded context.
Looking for the Right Members to Add to Your Team?
Want to find contributors willing and able to work in your office? A top recruiter, like Elby Professional Services, can help. You’ll find the ideal team members for your operation.
Contact Elby today to upgrade your team-building abilities today.