The Return to Office: Tips for Managers to Make it Easier

After the vaccination drive going on in full throttle, businesses are getting back on track. As many business organizations have resumed work from the office, employees have shown a blend of reactions. Some are eager to get back while others found their comfort working in the pajamas! If your organization has resumed work from the office, it is bound to be a challenge for your employees as well as the management. It’s important to ensure that no one would feel discomfort in the working space after the long workation at home!

According to a recent report, 48% of vaccinated adults feel doubtful about returning to in-person contact. Although this report doesn’t suggest that they won’t resume in-person meetings, it does suggest that a transition is required to make them feel good and safe in the office. Evidently, the aftermaths of the pandemic panic are still lurking on people’s minds. 

So, if you’re a part of your business’s management team, here are some things you can do to help employees navigate the transition back to the office. We just have to make it easier for them! Let’s have a look: 

1. Have Essential Health Measures in Place 

Although more people are getting vaccinated now, it is essential to keep in mind that we are still in the middle of this pandemic; it’s not over yet. When employees return to the office, make sure you follow adequate health measures to assure their safety. Encourage them to stay home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. For the employees who have tested positive, provisions of staying at home and paid leaves can be made. 

Ask your employees to wear a mask in public settings, maintain social distancing in shared spaces, and wash/sanitize hands regularly. It would be better if you could discourage sharing objects and food amongst employees. Other measures would include checking body temperatures before the employees enter the office, regularly sanitizing the workplace, and installing shields between desks. 

2. Facilitate Interpersonal Relationships

There is no doubt that most employees feel profoundly disconnected from their team members. Working from home for a long time, lack of personal communication, changes in teams due to remote hiring, etc. are some prominent reasons for this disconnect. 

For managers and leaders, that’s a big organizational challenge that can affect productivity. So, it’s necessary to create a friendly environment where it’s easier for employees to reconnect. Small gestures, such as hosting group lunches, would make a difference. Although this may sound informal, it’s effective when it comes to building a stronger bond with employees. 

3. Communication is Key 

Generally speaking, employees perform better when they have enough stability to not get distracted by frequent changes. That’s utterly true post-pandemic. After being away from the office for more than a year, employees may feel unsure about their role in the company. Also, they aren’t aware of organizational dynamics that may have shifted during the pandemic. Thus, offering specific and sincere praise becomes much-needed to allay their concerns. For instance, you can remind them of something good from the past that will encourage them.

4. Allow Employees to Express 

In times of stress, there is nothing more important than expressing. It would be good to see your employees talking about what they have been experiencing so far. Listening to them with curiosityis probably the best thing you can do, which will help them overcome disruptive events. Also, it would be great if you could make your office available for a psychologist or meditation teacher. 

5. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself, too

As a manager, you need to take care of employees and their safety. Well, that’s not a small feat and can make you vulnerable to emotional and physical exhaustion. This can impair your thinking and decision-making. Once you realize how your well-being affects your leadership, as well as the mood of your employees, it becomes easier for you to manage some time to reset. Taking walks, seeking out people for conversation, and engaging an advisor who can provide support are some of the simplest ways to rejuvenate yourself and track your emotions.

To Conclude 

After months of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, it would be refreshing to meet your team in-person, tell them about your remote work experience, and listen to them. With the above-mentioned tips, you can be prepared for employees’ mixed emotions, which will help you ease their transition back to the office. Also, what you need to understand is that an amalgamation of the old and new workplace would be the best thing you can do when you return to the office. So, offering hybrid working is also a good idea to start on the right foot!