The post-pandemic era has forced companies to implement new ways of working, as virtual working became the norm. Businesses are gradually moving forward with “back-to-office” approaches as many feel the pain of lack of collaboration and connection between colleagues. But, some approaches are more successful than others: You may recall how Elon Musk’s email  forcing his employees back to the office caused quite a stir. It’s understandable that employees might feel threatened and search for other alternatives when their needs aren’t met.
So what can you do to see your office full of life again? One thing that’s certain is that hybrid working is here to stay. According to the Accenture report , 83% of respondents were enthusiastic over the hybrid working model. If implemented correctly, this approach can benefit both parties. Here are 5 things you should consider so your employees can unsubscribe from unnecessary stress and have a perfect working day.
Covid-19 gave employees the freedom to organise their schedule and their dress code. Some just feel more comfortable in their PJs or sweatpants (completely understandable). You definitely don’t want to shake up their world by imposing a strict full-time back-to-office policy. Allow your employees to decide which days they work from the office and when they can stay at home. Empowered employees with effective flexible working will repay you in loyalty and productivity. You might consider setting the minimum number of days you expect them to show up at the office. But, do remember that it’s best to ask and reward those who come in, rather than drive someone into a corner. To see an increase in office attendance, free lunch, gym membership, casual dress day, or another incentives might just do the trick.
The office is not a go-to place when you need to concentrate on your tasks away from the hustle and bustle. It is however a collaboration hub for innovative ideas and creative thinking. Team members and departments can communicate their vision more clearly and align their plan of action quicker when they meet on-site rather than through their screens. Besides, everyone appreciates some encouragement from their teammates in moments of doubt. We all know the power a simple smile holds. Returning to the office makes your employees feel part of the team again. In fact, sometimes brilliant ideas come to light when you least expect them. Implementing space management software makes it possible for colleagues to sit together. Let your employees take the initiative and see the magic happen.
The work-life balance had gone out the window. Your employees might enjoy working full-time from the comfort of their homes; but let’s be honest here, their schedules changed drastically. For some, working hours increased during the pandemic. It became harder to draw a line between work and free time. When you don’t have your colleagues and supervisors around you, it’s easier to procrastinate and put your tasks in the backlog. And then the weekend suddenly turns into a casual working weekday. Once your employees return to the office, they can feel at ease in their home again and stay on top of their tasks.
Promote well-being and improve mental health
Remote working has caused many employees to feel isolated, but also helped those who struggle with social interactions feel more at home. Both physical and mental health is crucial so that your company can gain the advantage of having a team of happy and healthy people truly enjoying what they do. You don’t want your employees to get the feeling of dread even thinking about work. Organise casual outings and various physical activities after work to keep your current employees fit and connected, and make the transition easier for the new ones. Try to implement prevention measures, such as, counselling sessions with professionals during stressful times or the possibility to work from home to maintain well-being.
Prioritise employee loyalty
Employee satisfaction is just as important as customer satisfaction. Sybil F. Stershic  summarised this customer-employee correlation perfectly: "The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel. And if your employees don't feel valued, neither will your customers". Your employees must feel appreciated and rewarded for their work to keep customers satisfied and your business thriving. Maintaining a positive work environment, offering programs for self-development, asking for feedback, and actually listening to your employees' concerns is essential to foster loyalty. In the same way, you should also consider your employees’ opinions regarding working conditions in the post-pandemic workplace.
Your perfect workmate
No matter whether the type of work requires your employees to be present full-time or allows flexibility, you need software to manage your office space better and encourage colleagues to come into the office. FlexWhere gives you this opportunity. It’s optimised in such a way to encourage hybrid working and hot-desking. This means your employees decide if they work from home or want to book their workplace at the office and you have all the data in one place to keep track of office occupancy. FlexWhere allows you to get more done during the day and to be part of the team again.
1. Tabahriti, S. (2022, June 5). Read the email Elon Musk sent to Tesla employees about returning to the office before saying headcount will increase. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/read-elon-musk-email-tesla-employees-return-office-2022-6?international=true&r=US&IR=T
2. Smith, C., et al. (2021, April 30). The future of work: A hybrid work model. Accenture. https://www.accenture.com/nl-en/insights/consulting/future-work
3. Islam, R. (2021, December 19). 10 Quotes That Reveal How Great Leaders Actually Treat Their Employees. UX Planet. https://uxplanet.org/10-quotes-that-reveal-the-real-reason-why-great-leaders-always-treat-well-with-their-employees-10f82862bc7e