23rd March 2020. The day that the UK was put into lockdown, to minimise travel and the dreaded words ‘stay at home’. Many workplaces - maybe including yours- had to adapt to this and start working from home and start putting staff members onto the Furlough scheme. For some, this meant a comfortable life of not having to work, or finding it easier and more relaxing to work from home and attending zoom meetings. The difficult stage is now, when your employees discover that actually, they prefer working from home, they prefer not having to take time out of their day to travel to work, or they may be worried about their safety coming back into office or their daily commute to work. It’s a challenge that a significant amount of businesses will have to deal with and below should be some helpful tips which will help to ease the transition from working from home and coming back to working in the office.
Communication is key as it helps both the employer and the employees to grasp hold of any unprecedented situation for example COVID-19. Ensuring that the employees are aware of changes that may be occurring throughout the workplace will help to boost their confidence and help them come to terms with the idea of coming back to work in the office, after the time spent working from home. Equally, employees should feel comfortable speaking to you, bringing you ideas and giving you feedback. Ensuring this will mean that you will have to be available to speak to and also that they know that you will respond to their ideas.
Listen to the Ideas of your Employees
Listening to the employees, being open to suggestions and implementing positive changes as a response to their feedback within the office helps to make significant improvements to the future work environment. Likewise, it can help to improve safety operations and maintaining a high morale throughout the transition from working from home to going back to the office.
Adapt the Sick Day Policy
The current concern – health and safety. What’s on everyone’s minds at the moment is ensuring that the health and safety and personal wellbeing of each member of the workplace is well cared for. Showing that you can adapt the sick-day policy will give your employees confidence and help to make them feel more at ease with the idea of coming back to work at the office.
Get to Know Your Employees and What Works for Them | Find Out What Makes Them Tick
Each of your employees is guaranteed to be different, whether they be an introvert, extrovert, adventurous or cautious. Some may require extra guidance whereas others prefer to be left alone to get on with their work. Its important for you to know this so that you can make necessary adaptions and make sure that each employee feels at ease with coming back to work in office. Some may be raring to go yet others may need that extra motivation and its up to you to find out what this includes. There’s nothing better than a boss that takes an interest in their employees and gets to know what interests them and motivated them.
Create an Awe-Inspiring Work Environment
Motivation and mood work side-by-side. Your energy levels, ability to concentrate and even your overall sense of wellbeing can all be affected by your mood. If you are looking for your employees to come back into office, you may want to change the design of your office even if its just changing the design or having a change around. Aspects such as having more natural light and open layouts can help boost mood and will help encourage your employees into coming back to the office. Investing in a work environment where people actually want to spend their time is something that you will benefit from and having that open and friendly work environment is something that can’t be achieved at home and could be the reason why someone works back in the office. Creating a homey atmosphere will help motivation levels, minimise unnecessary distractions and have your team members look forward to coming back into work into the office each day.
For more information on how you can create a COVID friendly workspace, take a look at our most recent blog.