As we transition to better normal, a lot of companies are deciding to implement return to office policies. With this, employees have to adjust again their lives after several years of working remotely. Can you imagine that you cannot work again right after you wake up? You need to prepare and dress up for the day again. You will also be experiencing the hassle of daily commute and the horrendous traffic in the Philippines. Not everyone in the working population have cars that will give them convenience on their daily transportation. The pandemic has also proven that workers can still be productive at home and a lot of work can also be done remotely. However, a workplace still has its benefits that each must still recognize. With this, companies must think of ways to make and implement the best and most effective back to office strategy for the welfare of its employees as the workforce is the most important asset of each business. A satisfied employee is a necessary step towards the success of every business. Hence, if you are one of the managers thinking of the most effective return to office strategy, don’t worry we got your back! Here are seven winning back to office strategies that you must consider in your policy for a better working environment of your workforce.
- Emphasize to your workforce that the purpose of the workplace has changed
The pandemic taught everyone that working remotely is possible. Hence, one can still be productive even through virtual supervision of their leaders. With this, it can be challenging to let employees understand why return to office should be done. One way to convince them is to emphasize the new purpose of being present in the workplace. Right now, workplace should not be seen as an environment for working because our homes can also fulfill the same purpose. Management must change the impression of a workplace. It is already 2023 so the workplace should now become a place of meeting and collaboration as the pandemic proved that we can be productive even working remotely. As Forbes claims, the hard truth for organizations is that they will win if they recognize these changes early on compared to those who do not have the initiative to embrace these work environment changes. Perhaps, this is arguably the winning back to office strategy that each company must embrace to retain its workforce and provide a continuous satisfaction in their work life.
- Accept the new working dynamics
If a company already recognized the change in the purpose of a workplace, they should see that these changes will affect the long-term expectations on working environments especially by the younger generation. Most likely, workplace interaction will be hybrid – meaning some work will be done remotely and meetings will be done in the workplace for easy communication. Expect that these will become the norm in the future thus a good strategy and challenge is to accept it as early as possible to create the best working environment for your workforce.
- Communicate the management’s plan on their return to office strategy
If there will be plans for a return to office, the management must implement it gradually because this will be a big adjustment for the employees. Setting dates and communicating the plan for the full or partial return to office must be done so employees will have an ample time to plan their new routines right away. Immediately implementing a return to office policy will not only cause employees’ dissatisfaction with the management but also with their personal life especially if they have families or children needing lots of attention. Remember that workforce is the bread and butter of businesses so it is appropriate to give compromises for them to adjust little by little on the implementation of a return to office policy.
- Be flexible with your expectations on your workforce
We have dealt with the pandemic for several years. All were shocked with the massive and sudden lifestyle changes. Some might have difficulties at the start but eventually saw an opportunity to be more productive with the setup. With this, if return to office will not be prevented anymore, you must be patient and flexible with your employees. Once convenience is experienced, it will be harder to force them to follow a policy that will put them in an inconvenient lifestyle.
- Ensure the safety of your workers
The pandemic has not ended yet even though vaccines are seen to effective in strengthening the immune system of the population. This pandemic has taught everyone the importance of disinfection. So, workplaces must include disinfection policies in their return to office strategy to safeguard their workers. If possible, test them more often if on-site interaction will be done more frequently. Encourage them to be vaccinated so that they will be protected not only through the health protocols of the company but also through boosting their immune system.
- Focus on bringing a work and home life balance to your employees
One major benefit of a work-from-home (WFH) setup is the work and home life balance of the employees. Given that employees are saving a lot of time preparing every morning combined with the commuting time, the WFH setup gave them additional time to attend to the needs of their home while still being able to fulfill their duties as an employee. Although some companies made the working experience of its employees worse, a lot of the working population had an extra time to explore more about their personal life because the preparation and the horrible daily commute are the biggest factors why employees have a strict daily schedule. A good work and home life balance gives employees satisfaction and sense of fulfillment thus making them more productive. Hopefully, your company recognizes the importance of those so such fulfillment will still be provided with the return to office strategy to be implemented or currently implemented at the moment.
- Ask for feedbacks and suggestions with your implemented back to office strategy
It is 2023 and the younger working population wants to be involved with the management decisions. To put it simply, their feedbacks should be seen valuable. So, it is better the with the back to office strategy you are implementing, you should including obtaining feedbacks from your workforce to improve what is lacking immediately and give the best work environment for their satisfaction and fulfillment. Don’t get me wrong, we know that some employees are very demanding and some of their requests are unreasonable but if you think that a feedback is workable and will improve the workplace, why not try making a change, right?
Employee Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance
We are living in a generation wherein the younger generation wants to heard and their requests must be answered especially if it will benefit the majority. Normally, a return to office strategy would most likely involve major adjustments on the side of the employee but in this era, it will never work anymore. The working population is acknowledging their worth and that life does not revolve in building their careers. With this, we believe that satisfying the needs and drawing a line between work and personal life is a must for every company to retain its employees. After all, the hardworking people are the reason why a company’s success is possible. So, why not give them this kind of incentive? A satisfied employee has a domino effect with their work productivity and the overall performance ang image of your company.
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Written By Steven Hernandez