The vaccines are slowly moving the world forward and a lot of companies are back in the office, back to the "normal" we know. Working from home is still an option while more and more meetings are happening face to face right now. Even though many people miss their colleagues and the feeling of being in an office, there are big question signs around this subject.
Are you motivating your employees enough? At Capio, we are flexible but most of us love being in the office just because of the relaxed atmosphere.
Here are a few tips on how to motivate your team to return to the office:
Open communication is the secret! Give details, organize a meeting rather than sending an email about the office return, check everyone’s schedule, and take into consideration that a lot of people have new routines. There are many reasons as to why you might adopt a different WFH policy but to be successful in the corporate world, face-to-face networking is winning. There is a certain disconnection when you are talking with people on a video call compared to a meeting. Let’s not forget about the fun office activities such as drinks on Friday, breakfasts, and the office humor that makes any stressful day go by faster. Tell them why you want them in the office but be honest about it.
2. Set up a focus group
Allow your teams to have an opinion. No matter how many people you are managing, everyone will have a different opinion, and offering the option to come in with suggestions and ideas can make people feel included. You want to be close to your team and understand their reasons if they are comfortable sharing them. Making your employees feel heard and wanted is a huge motivator when it comes to a return to the office. The Pandemic changed so much and dealing with change can be overwhelming.
3. Be realistic
Working from home is not suitable for everyone! It depends on the employee’s personality and organizational skills. Half of your team might enjoy working with others and simply having the routine of preparing for the office every morning while the other half will feel more productive working from home in their own space. A fact you can bring is the feeling of isolation. Being starved of social interaction can harm your mental health. The cost of working from home can be a factor too followed by burnouts. When the line between working from home and personal life is getting blurry, employees might find it difficult to switch off.
4. Training employees is easier in the office
You have a new starter in your company and you have to offer them training. Of course, you can step up another video call but isn’t it easier to have them in the office and show them exactly how to work on a certain task? Experimenting with training is very smart. This can be another fact you can bring up in the focus group. A lot of new starters can feel confused or not a part of the team while trying to deal with potential technical problems at home or waiting for someone to message them. It’s not only about new starters but even internal training is needed. It has been reported that managerial skills that can lead to promotion are going to be learned faster in the office.
5. Safety comes first
Make sure that your office is embracing social distancing, regular testing and that you keep up with deep cleanliness policies. During the cold and flu season, people should still be considerate and test themselves. You may be able to send out a video or a guide that will remind everyone how to maintain the office a safe space. The rules should be available for vaccinated members of the team as well. The Pandemic is not over and it’s our responsibility to make a difference.
After spending weeks and months indoors, we are taking small steps towards a normal life. Looking back, we realize that the old “normal” will never be the same as the current one but all we can do is work together and show empathy.
“There is only one rule for being a good talker – learn to listen.”