People have mostly been working from home for the past year. Many people love it, but others are itching to come back to the office. It’s important to understand the reasons why people may not be anxious to come back to work in the building and help meet the needs of those individuals. Read out this article to know about the things to do to get people to come back to work post-pandemic in 2021.
Working from home saves people a lot of time on commuting and money on gas. With soaring gas prices, it makes sense for some of them to stay working from home if possible. They also enjoyed more flexibility when it came to work-life balance, family life balance, and more. Some of them were more productive because they didn’t face constant interruptions. Others are still at higher risk of getting sick and would prefer not to be in a building with people all day long.
Here are some of the ways you can help meet their needs but get them back to the office—at least on occasion.
Clean and Sanitize
Pre-pandemic you probably had a cleaning crew come in each night and simply take out the trash, clean the bathrooms, and maybe dust some of the common areas. If you want to get those who are a little more concerned about getting sick back to the office, clean better. There are companies who come in and sanitize everything if you need them to. If you want to get everyone willing to come back to the office, then clean everything better than you did before. Take some lessons from essential businesses that stayed open this whole time. They cleaned and sanitized multiple times throughout the day.
Moving air is less likely to make people sick. Poorly ventilated areas are more likely to make people sick. Add fans, and improve the ventilation in your building. This can encourage people to come back to work because their risk of getting sick will be minimized.
Alternate Who is In The Office
This helps on a couple of fronts. First, it helps the building to have fewer people in it at a time. For those who are still skittish about being near people, it can help them to know that there won’t be as many people in the office when they are there. Second, it provides a built-in opportunity for those who still want to work from home to do so at least a couple of times a week. This arrangement still allows for collaboration and in-person meetings, but can also keep things safer.
Improve Your HR Policies
Let’s be real, trying to police people, like they are in grade school, is a bit excessive. HR policies should easily allow for people to stay home when they or their children aren’t feeling well even if they don’t get a doctor’s note. Other HR policies around employment background checks, credit checks, and training requirements can be relaxed or given in a different context. All of these can be done remotely via computer if necessary. It’s also important to clearly communicate any new policies in multiple ways so that you can be sure everyone understands them.
Make the Office Fun Again
One of the reasons people may not want to come back to work is because it’s no fun. While yes, you’re there to work, there were some perks pre-COVID that made a lot of places really great to work at. The atmosphere was exciting, engaging, and made it easy to want to work. There are perks you can still offer to make it great to work at your location.
You can still celebrate birthdays. Just offer individual cupcakes instead of a sheet cake. You can still celebrate milestones at work, just do it in smaller groups. You can celebrate goals, but offer perks that allow individuals to be rewarded. Work purchased lunches don’t need to go, but they can be offered with individual boxes. Clean and sanitize the foosball table after use. The possibilities are endless here, just be a little more creative.
Everything is slowly opening up and more places are getting back to business as usual. There were some great lessons learned through the pandemic that you can use to help people feel confident and comfortable coming back to work in 2021.