The COVID-19 pandemic forced countless businesses to adopt a remote working policy where workers did all of their work from home.
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While the trend of remote working was already on the rise, the pandemic accelerated the growth of remote working in ways we never could have imagined. However, now that restrictions are easing, many businesses are beginning to welcome employees back to the workplace. Whether you are bringing your team back to the office on a full-time basis or you are embracing a hybrid model, splitting their time between remote and in-house workdays, it’s important that you make the transition as seamless as possible.
Having worked remotely for the guts of two years now, many employees will find the transition back to the office challenging. Being around a large group of people again indoors might be unnerving for some of your staff. Other team members might have gotten used to having more flexibility in their day and having more opportunities to spend time with family and doing their hobbies which, can make returning to a more “regular” schedule seem daunting. There is an endless list of reasons that your team might find moving back to a physical office space. However, with the right approach, you can ensure that your team returns to the office with ease and with as little disruption to your business as possible.
Let’s take a look at some simple tips to help you support your team’s transition from remote working back to the office.
Give Plenty Of Notice
To ensure a successful return from remote work, you need to ensure that your team are fully prepared for the transition back to work. Giving your employees as much notice as possible will allow them to prepare for the move. Not only will it give them time to consider daycare, restructure their schedule and prepare their corporate uniforms for coming back to the office but it will also help them to prepare mentally for life back in the office. The more organised and mentally prepared your team is, the smoother the transition will be.
Welcome Them Back
When your team comes in on the first day, make a big deal of returning to office life. This is the first time that many of your employees will have seen each other in person in a long time. And, if you have hired new staff throughout the pandemic, this could be their first time ever meeting their colleagues in real life. Allow everyone a little time to catch up and reconnect. Try hosting a small event, or giving a welcome back speech to boost morale and the return to office life off on a positive note.
Allow Time For Adjustment
Making the move back to the transition itself is an overnight thing; one day your employees are working, the next they are required to be in the office. While on paper, it’s simple. The truth is that it can take a little time to smooth out the cracks and get used to working alongside colleagues again. A period of adjustment is to be expected and as a business owner or manager, you need to ensure that you allow for this grace period.
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Give your team a little flexibility in the first few weeks to give them time to get used to commuting to work and being back in the office. With a gentle approach, your team will feel supported and appreciated.
Consider A Hybrid Model
Many companies are embracing a hybrid work model that also employees to continue working from home for some of the week and in the office on other days. This strategy can be highly beneficial, especially if your employees do not have face-to-face meetings with clients. If an employee’s work can be done from home with a trip to the office once or twice a week to stay connected with colleagues, attend meetings and collaborate with other staff members, a business can save money. With less staff in the office at any given time, operating costs, fit-out expenses and other costs will be greatly reduced, increasing profits long-term.
Support Your Team
Ultimately, the key to a successful transition back to the office is simply being there for your team. Keep an open-door policy, be flexible and listen to the feedback from your staff. With their input, you can implement new ideas that might make the move easier for your team. Supporting your staff and helping them through the transition will not only make the move to the office easier but will also help to boost morale and bolster your company’s team spirit.
Bring Your Team Back To The Office Safely And Successfully
Transitioning from a remote work setup back to the office can be challenging for you and your team for any number of reasons. However, following the tips outlined above, you can ensure that you and your team move back into your office space seamlessly and with as little disruption to the day-to-day operations of your business as possible.