Over a year ago, the pandemic caused millions of people to worry about transitioning from the office to working remotely. Now that people have grown accustomed to their home office, company leaders are looking for ways to transition their staff out of working from home. Unfortunately, some are having better luck than others.
As a leader of a business that may have apprehensive staff, there are some ways to make workers feel more comfortable making the switch back to office life, including:
Lead with Empathy
Being respectful of people’s feelings after such an emotionally draining year means more than employers understand. Businesses that need people to come into the office must normalize empathy to get the best possible employee effort. For instance, if an employee has been personally affected by the pandemic, acknowledge their concerns. Doing so makes nervous staff more comfortable.
Emphasize Safety Precautions
Even though people have different perspectives on Covid-related safety precautions, it’s best to have a one-size-fits-all policy. Enforcing rules like mask-wearing and social distancing can put both the relaxed and anxious employees at ease.
A recent survey indicated that a mere 18 percent of staff felt safe resuming in-person work on a full-time basis. In addition to accommodating people willing to go back with ease, consider compromising how often staff is required to come in.
Allow the people willing to come in full-time to do so. Then, have everyone else come at least three days with a couple of days to work remotely. This will help them grow accustomed to being around coworkers again. Important meetings and events can be mandatory, especially when proper safety regulations are in place.
It’s natural for people to feel uneasy going back to the office. How leaders choose to reintroduce staff members to in-person work can make or break team productivity and morale. Need help deciding which techniques are effective? Consider implementing the previously mentioned solutions.
Speak directly to staff about what will raise their confidence in coming back. Everything from an individual zoom call to a remote staff meeting makes it easier to bring everyone together for the benefit of the company.