How do you welcome staff returning to office?

Everything appeared to be normal until COVID-19 chose to wreck our lives. Like every other element of life, the epidemic has changed the way people live and work all around the world. After months of working from home and being in their comfort zone, employees are finally returning to work, and many may find it difficult to transition to the office routine.

Organizations have been through some difficult times, and as a result, they must do everything possible to welcome new staff with enthusiasm. Finally, it is up to an organization’s management to motivate employees and make them feel good once they return to work.

Employees have experienced many drawbacks to working from home after months of doing so. Due of a lack of a sense of belonging and teamwork. While technology has made remote working more convenient in terms of access and communication, it has also thrown off the much-needed work-life balance. Professionals all around the world have been working remotely for some time, and returning to their desks may be a welcome change.

Asking people to return to work after a year of completely rethinking work structures, fixing problems, and worrying about their health can feel like yet another difficulty for leaders to overcome. What if, on the other hand, leaders choose a different approach? What if this is a chance for your organization to create a “workplace value proposition” that genuinely boosts employee engagement?

Employees must be shown what they were missing out on while working from home by their employers. It is critical for management to encourage employee engagement and provide a positive working environment for their teams. Here are a few strategies and tactics to inspire your team members returning to the office after working remotely for a long period of time, in order to keep things simple and information accessible.

  1. Reboarding

If you like, you may call it “re-onboarding.” Many businesses were forced to furlough or temporarily lay off employees who are now being rehired. During the WFH, many organizations employed new employees who had never had an in-office onboarding experience. Even long-serving staff could benefit from a refresher on topics such as office policies, where to get more printer paper, and where to get the best coffee. Create a Reboarding Program that invites team members to revisit the workplace, meet their coworkers, reiterate business values, explain new policies, and reacquaint themselves with the area.

2. Cross-functionality should be encouraged.

Things work differently in a virtual workplace than they do in a physical one. Several times, individuals of several teams collaborate on a single project, or certain work is outsourced, making task execution simple. Returning employees can participate proactively and maximize their potential with this type of cross-functional governance. When specialists from other professions collaborate on a project, everyone gains new knowledge and expands their skill set. Because they may openly express their opinions and share their vision, such a group is more creative.

Employees can interact with professionals from various backgrounds and collaborate with them through cross-functional teamwork. This is a terrific way to keep remote workers motivated and give work a fresh spin for employees who return to the office after a period of time away.

3. Creating a healthy competitive environment.

Fostering a little healthy competition among the staff is another fantastic approach to bring energy and efficiency back to the office. Teams can motivate its members to offer their best by defining a benchmark for performance and recognizing favorable results. This also helps develop fresh ideas. Team building exercises are a terrific way to get the team involved in some friendly rivalry while also keeping their spirits high.

Fostering competition while keeping team togetherness is critical, and it should be a top priority for all organizations, particularly when employees are returning after a long absence. In all fairness, competition can be encouraged by improving on previous results and valuing one’s abilities.

4. Keeping in touch throughout.

Communication is essential for a team, whether they are working remotely or in the office. Meeting your colleagues in person will be a welcome change after months of staying in touch via video conferencing, group chats, and other means. Interacting with your coworkers, sharing them about your remote work experience, and listening to them will provide a long-overdue opportunity to bond and share.

To maximize production, combining old and new communication techniques is definitely a good idea. Even when you’re back in the workplace, communication and collaboration tools help employees operate more efficiently and effectively.

5. Flexibility in the workplace should also be encouraged.

The strict standards and regulations that return employees confront when they return to work are a serious issue. Employees value workplace flexibility, and it helps them rebalance their lives when they return to the office after working from home. Organizations must be aware of their employees’ schedules and attempt to reduce stress in order for them to work better.

Allow your personnel to take breaks and process the job at hand whenever possible. The results will be far better than expected if you give your team members time to reflect and work according to their preferences. Individuals are encouraged by flexibility because it makes them feel valued and respected. It also enhances the organization’s image and decreases stress associated with workplace goals and objectives. In terms of staff satisfaction and production generation, this is what companies should strive for.

6. Employee mental health should be a top priority.

Mental health is a crucial topic for working professionals, and employers must ensure that their employees’ mental health is in good shape. Positive reinforcement is critical for maintaining a stress-free work environment and is an excellent technique to re-establish the office culture. It’s useless if an employee is mentally worried and unable to perform at his best at work.

Only when the team gives it their all and pours their heart and soul into it will the work be fruitful. Mental health should be a prerogative in the competitive corporate environment, and it is critical for businesses to maintain it. Employees are, after all, a company’s most valuable asset. As a result, businesses must place a strong emphasis on mental wellbeing and ensure that their workers work in a stress-free atmosphere where they may discuss any issues with management at any time.

The relationship between an employee and an organization is symbiotic; both are critical to the other’s success. When professionals return to their old haunts after a long absence, it’s only in the organization’s best interests to make them feel welcome.

Check out my related post: How to keep your kids entertained with working from home?


Interesting reads:

https://gethppy.com/employeerecognition/how-to-bring-back-employees-after-covid-19

https://www.thehrdigest.com/how-to-write-welcome-back-to-office-messages/

https://www.goco.io/blog/return-to-work-letter-for-employees/

https://ideas.baudville.com/the-baudville-blog/7-ways-to-welcome-back-employees-after-a-pandemic

https://www.proofhub.com/articles/best-tips-tricks-to-welcome-employees-returning-to-office

https://www.goosechase.com/blog/fun-ideas-to-welcome-people-back-to-the-office/

https://gethppy.com/employeerecognition/how-to-bring-back-employees-after-covid-19

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/01/13/12-ways-to-prepare-for-the-return-to-the-office/

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/returning-to-office-after-coronavirus-seduce-staff-to-go-back-ceo.html

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