By Smita Menon
As Covid-19 spread across the globe it brought about a hybrid workplace culture. Once bustling buildings are now empty. Employees have converted their spare bedrooms to office spaces, and they no longer want to be stuck in the 9-5 rut, rather preferring flexibility in their work cycle.
Some companies have found the work from home model to be highly successful while some struggle to cope with the decline in face-to-face contact.
Looking forward; it’s safe to say that working from home is here to stay in one form or another. This means that organisations should prepare themselves for a hybrid working model built around their culture and infrastructure that would encourage employees to have a balance of working remotely and working onsite.
Here’s some tips to encourage employees to return to the office:
Implement a Safety Plan
Office spaces can be remodeled keeping in mind social distancing and safety of the employees. For instance, well-spaced desks can limit close contact between employees, limiting the number of people allowed in board rooms, bathrooms, etc.
More details here: Safe Work Australia
Hybrid Work culture
Most employees do not want to spend 5 days a week in the office. Therefore, a hybrid work cycle can be implemented where employees could split the days between working from home and office. This flexibility can provide a good work-life balance for your team.
Remodeled Office Spaces
Workspaces can be reconfigured based on employee preferences. New amenities and fun elements can be added to elevate the workplace making it more fun and interesting. This will encourage employees to enjoy their time onsite / in the office.
According to a CNBC survey, 9 out of 10 employees who have a career mentor are happier in their jobs. The mentor and mentee can set short- or long-term goals based on the employee’s career aspirations. A mentoring program can be put in place where they can organise monthly lunches or coffee catchups.
It’s important to have open discussions with your team before returning to full time work. Ensure employees that they have access to assistance programs by understanding their concerns and needs. This may include access to counselling services, corporate health care plans and fitness, meditation or mindfulness programs. This in turn will create a happier and more productive workplace as employees can take comfort in knowing that that they have a safe, supportive and flexible environment to go back to after months of uncertainty and stress.
As many organisations welcome back staff onsite, employees may have mixed feelings about this change. You can ease the transition with some smart planning and open discussions. Give them a fair amount of time to adapt even if the beginning of the journey is a little bumpy.
If you are experiencing difficulties with employees in your workplace or need some assistance in handling a potential conflict matter reach out to our team on 07 5613 1846 to see how we can support you and your business and “nip it in the bud.”