- Employees looking to bring workers back to an in-person workplace should be cautious about their approach
- Overly rigid rules or a lack of autonomy can anger workers and potentially drive them to seek work elsewhere
- Businesses can encourage employee feedback to help assess their needs and concerns
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
While many companies had set the Labor Day weekend as their target for returning employees to in-person workplaces, these plans were often postponed due to the new surge in COVID-19 cases brought on by the Delta variant. As infections decline, businesses may be eager to bring workers back to the office – but should be careful about how they do it.
Bringing workers back together can reap benefits such as improved collaboration and a restoration of company culture. However, it can also create stress among employees who have become accustomed to remote or hybrid work schedules. If they are dissatisfied enough with how a company orders its workers back to the office, they may even seek employment elsewhere.
The following are a few ways to avoid making mistakes and pursue a successful strategy of returning to the workplace:
- Employees may be concerned about a wide range of issues involved in returning to the office, ranging from their commute to privacy issues
- Developing a remote or hybrid work policy is critical, as workers are more likely to be irked if rules are too rigid or don’t offer enough autonomy in how employees set their schedule
- Plans should be clearly communicated with enough time for employees to adapt to the change, and should be announced internally before any external announcements are made
- Businesses can encourage employee feedback on their preferences and any issues that might affect their return to the office, potentially through an anonymous survey