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How to encourage employees to return to the office

Planning on shifting your company from remote to in person? Get advice on how to encourage employees to return to the office for an easy transition.

How to encourage employees to return to the office
How to encourage employees to return to the office

For many employees, remote work has become the “new normal,” and commuting and working in an office may feel foreign or daunting. However, returning to the office is essential for the success of many businesses since in-person collaboration can often drive creativity and innovation. Read on for tips on encouraging employees to return to the office.

Create a Plan

Begin by creating a plan for in-office work and communicate it to staff so that people know what to expect. This plan should be concise and address employees’ concerns, such as health and safety protocols. Also, note the date in-office work begins and the required start times. 

By sharing a plan, employees will better understand what to expect and can begin to mentally prepare for the transition back to in-office work. It’s best to share your message through a company-wide video meeting so that people can ask questions as they arise. Email all team members a document of the plan. This way, everyone will know what to expect. 

Establish a Hybrid Setup

Many companies are finding success with establishing a hybrid setup that lets workers stay home some days but come into the office on others. For example, some companies require three days in the office and allow two days of remote work. 

A hybrid setup allows employees to work from home while still enabling in-person collaboration and meetings. If you adopt a hybrid work schedule, plan important meetings on in-office days so that you don’t have to worry about technology failures. Superb communication ensures all workers thrive. 

Design a Productive Office Place

Before employees return, evaluate the office and workstations to make necessary changes. Consider factors like desk space, seating arrangements, noise levels, and ventilation. You should also evaluate ways to design a productive office when preparing for the transition. While the current setup may look great, unconformable chairs or dim lighting can hinder workflow. It’s advisable to assess the office premises before the employees return, allowing for necessary adjustments.

Offer Accommodations

Many of our schedules have changed in the years of working from home. Some of us wake up later or begin household chores after clocking off since we’re already home. Allowing for flexible start times gives workers leeway to sleep in and commute into the office comfortably. This also helps workers keep their work and personal lives separate rather than trying to fit one into the other.

You can also consider other benefits, such as on-site childcare, wellness programs, or commuter benefits, to make the return to the office more appealing for employees. By offering accommodations, you show your employees that you value their well-being and work-life balance.

Be Understanding and Supportive

Our final tip to encourage employees to return to the office is to remain understanding and supportive during this transition. Some individuals start their careers working remotely, so going into an office can feel stressful. Likewise, returning to commuting and working in an office can be mentally exhausting for some people. Reassure worried employees that you’ll support them through this change and offer assistance as needed. By being supportive, you’re creating a positive work environment and fostering employee satisfaction. Keeping workers happy smoothens the shift from remote to in-office work.

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