The post-pandemic push toward continuing with remote work is strong. This isn’t practical or desirable for many businesses, so business owners search for ways to entice their employees to return to the office. If your business needs people in-office or on-site, take some time to discover what would motivate your staff to return to the pre-pandemic work model. Forcing employees to return doesn’t make for long-term job satisfaction or employee retention, but creating a new model for innovation and collaboration in the office can help.
Be Honest About the “Why”
If you’ve realized that some employees aren’t as productive working from home, be straightforward about it. Some businesses need real people in their offices because clients or customers frequently visit the offices and expect to interact with individuals. Other companies require collaboration that’s difficult to achieve remotely. Explain the “why” to your employees so they don’t feel you’re being punitive. When they understand it will benefit them because the company will be more successful, they will be more willing to consider returning to the office.
Improve the Office Design
Now is the time to redesign and update your office space. Many people currently working from home say they don’t want to return to a depressing cubicle or dingy, outdated room. The words boring and depressing are often mentioned. Before asking employees to return to the office, consult with a company like Key Interiors. They can help you design a remarkable new office space that’s inviting and conducive to productivity. Focus on flexible designs that can be reconfigured as needs change, bold colors, and comfortable, ergonomic furniture. Include lots of natural light and let employees personalize their work areas by adding elements that promote calm and bring a smile to their faces.
Assure your employees that returning to the office doesn’t mean they’ll be locked into an 8:00 to 5:00 schedule Monday through Friday. Offer flex time and stagger schedules. Be willing to compromise by offering a split schedule, with two or three days in the office and the others at home each week. Other options might be working an hour earlier so they can take two hours at lunch to run errands, etc. If an employee wants to continue picking their children up from school, discuss ways to allow for this.
Ask Your Employees
You can make an educated guess about what will lure your employees back into the office, but you aren’t a mind reader. Talk to the employees you want to see back in the office. Ask them what they’d like to see changed and what they appreciate most about working from home. Collaborating with them may help you develop a creative way to keep you both happy.
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