The pandemic made businesses take drastic measures to ensure business continuity. For most companies, this involves allowing their employees to work remotely for the time being. But as companies resume operations back in their offices, they should take the necessary precautions to protect their employees and customers from the virus.
One challenge many companies have been struggling with is convincing their employees to go back to the office willingly. Many found working remotely to be more beneficial than they initially thought. With the rise of cases in many parts of the world, it’s understandable why some people are still hesitant about going back to work in an office setting.
Why Moving Back to a Traditional Office Makes Sense
There are several reasons why going back to a traditional office setting makes sense for both employers and employees. It can be challenging to maintain work/life balance and stay focused when working from home. Having a dedicated workplace can help employees focus on work, be more productive, and help them disconnect from work after office hours.
Another reason is that working in an office allows for better collaboration and communication. When employees are close to each other, it’s easier to share ideas and work on projects together. This can lead to a more productive and creative work environment.
Finally, returning to an office setting can help promote a sense of normalcy and routine. After months of working remotely, many people crave the structure and stability that an office can provide.
Encouraging Employees to Go Back to Traditional Office
Of course, there are some risks associated with returning to the office during the pandemic. But if businesses take the necessary precautions, they can minimize the risks and create a safe working environment for their employees.
Some tips for businesses encouraging their employees to return to the office include the following.
Set Clear Expectations for Employees
Employees should know what is expected of them like maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and other safety measures. They should also know the company’s policy if someone in the office tests positive for COVID-19. By letting them know what to expect and what you do to ensure their health, they gain better confidence in going back to your office.
Consider Providing Additional Perks
Think of other things you can offer your employees aside from their usual perks. For instance, instead of making them use public transport when going to the office, you can consider hiring a shuttle service for them. This way, you are reducing their risk of exposure to the virus.
You can also offer to cover the costs of their COVID-19 tests. It is also worth providing them with a stipend for getting vaccinated instead of forcing them to get the vaccine.
You can also consider offering a more flexible schedule. For those who can manage their tasks at home, you can offer to allow them to work a few days each week remotely.
Reward Good Behavior
It would also be helpful to create a system where you can reward employees for following the safety protocols you have put in place. For example, you can give them a bonus or an extra day off every month they don’t get sick. You can also enter them into a raffle where they can win prizes.
By offering these incentives, you encourage your employees to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
Address Concerns Right Away
If there are employees who voice their concerns about returning to the office, address them right away. Listen to their concerns and see if there is anything you can do to manage them.
Keep the lines of communication open. Let your employees know that they can come to you with any concerns or questions.
Ensure That the Office Is Safe
Ensure that the office is safe for employees by regularly cleaning and disinfecting common areas. You should also provide hand sanitizer and face masks for employees. If possible, set up thermal scanners at the office entrance to check employees’ temperatures before they enter.
Encourage Work/Life Balance
Working from home can be challenging to balance with other responsibilities. It’s essential to encourage employees to take breaks, disconnect from work after office hours, and take time for themselves. This can help prevent burnout and improve their overall well-being.
Returning to an office setting proves to be challenging, especially after your employees have been working remotely for months. By following these tips, businesses can help make the transition back to the office during the pandemic smoother for their employees. The key is to create a safe and healthy working environment for everyone and think about your employees’ needs now have post-pandemic.