How to Encourage Employees to Return to the Office
It’s safe to say the working world has changed significantly over the past two years or so. Most people who worked office jobs transitioned to work-from-home or remote models, and many organizations adopted a permanent remote-work policy. But that doesn’t work for every organization – depending on the industry and the company’s needs, employees may need to be on-site. Plus, there are benefits for the employees themselves.
Some employees like working remotely more than they ever enjoyed coming into the office. Those employees tend to be more productive when working from home, too. But other employees long to return to the physical office space, where they can interact face-to-face with coworkers. This puts many employers in a tough spot: half of your company wants to remain remote, while the other half wants to return to the office. And because some employers need to have employees on-site, the return to the office might be necessary.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of bringing your employees back to the office. Then, we’ll learn how to make the most of the return to the office to help everything go smoothly.
What are the Benefits of Bringing Your Employees Back to the Office?
While remote work certainly has its benefits for employers – reduced office costs, more job satisfaction for employees who prefer remote work, and more – there are also benefits to bringing employees back to work on-site. These include:
Strengthened Team Connection
According to a recent survey from Deloitte, 79 percent of respondents believe that a strong sense of belonging and connection in the workforce would be critical to their organization’s success over the next year to year and a half. 93 percent of respondents agreed that a sense of belonging drives organizational performance. So, one benefit of bringing employees back to the office is obvious: The office experience strengthens your team’s connection and sense of belonging.
Shared workplace experiences simply can’t be replicated virtually. A Zoom happy hour can’t compare to a birthday celebration in the breakroom – and that’s okay. These two experiences are different from each other and it’s safe to say that both will be a part of many organizations’ plans moving forward.
Having employees work on projects together in-person makes for better and stronger collaboration. Ideas are able to be shared freely, and information flows more seamlessly between team members to foster new innovations. In a remote setting, employees may not bother getting the opinion of a peer, for example, simply because it would be too cumbersome and time-consuming to email or set up a Zoom meeting. When employees are working together in the office, it’s much more likely to happen.
More Efficient Problem Solving
Increased collaboration means more efficient problem solving, too. If an employee has a question or concern, they can instantly turn to someone who can help, whether it’s a coworker or supervisor. In a remote setting, running problems up the chain of command can be time-consuming and inefficient. Some problems are simply more easily solved face-to-face.
Tips for Facilitating the Return to the Office
Making the return to the office as smooth a process as possible isn’t easy. The first thing to realize is that some employees will always prefer working from home, and you can’t do much to change that. There is a chance that forcing a return to the office can backfire and cause some employees to look for work elsewhere – that’s why handling this issue with sensitivity and being flexible are so important.
Here are five tips to facilitate a smooth return to the office:
Adopt a Hybrid Working Model
If some of your workforce wants to remain remote but some are interested in coming back to the office, accommodate those perspectives by adopting a hybrid working model. This means allowing employees to work remotely if they choose, but allowing them to come into the office if they would prefer it as well. You could also designate certain days as work-from-home days and others as on-site days. For example, make Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays remote days while Tuesday and Thursday are in-office days.
Support Job Flexibility
Other types of scheduling flexibility are also important when it comes to facilitating a return to the office. Flex hours are one example. This means allowing employees the flexibility to start and end their days as they need to, as long as their work gets done. (This kind of perk is also popular with employees because it helps them to avoid rush-hour traffic.)
You could also consider allowing employees to work extra hours through the week and having a half-day on Friday, or implementing “summer Fridays” where Fridays are off days for a set number of weeks in the summer. These kinds of flexible approaches make for good incentives for employees to come back on-site; if they can extend their weekend and still get the work done, everyone wins.
Invest in Workplace Amenities
Think about what kind of workplace amenities you can add to the physical workspace to make it more appealing to employees. Standing desks, an exercise room, a decked-out break room, better office chairs, a better parking situation outside… the possibilities go on. And because any employee is happier and more productive in a clean, tidy environment, invest in maintaining a well-kept office that people want to spend time in. You could also consider adding plants and wall art to make the physical space a little more inviting. All the little things really add up!
Offer Financial Incentives
Have you considered offering financial incentives to employees who are willing to come back into the office? It doesn’t have to mean a raise, but you can give bonuses to employees who work on site or even offer vouchers or gift cards. Another option is to give employees a stipend for expenses like gas or public transportation, since one big benefit of working remotely is saving on these expenses.
Support Working Parents
Now that you’re bringing employees back into the office, it might be time to revisit your family leave policy. You’ll want to support the working parents on your team by having a robust time-off policy in place. Be understanding when life’s unexpected scenarios come up – working parents need flexibility when their child falls sick or needs to come home from school early. And unless your office is not kid-friendly, you should consider allowing parents to bring their children to work with them in a pinch.
Find Top Talent with the Job Recruiters from Workway
Facilitating a return to the office isn’t easy. Whether you need more on-site employees to work on critical projects and meet deadlines or you’re looking to augment your existing staff, relying on professional job recruiters like Workway’s is the smart choice. Our professional recruitment agency is here to help as you facilitate a return to the office this year.
Why work with Workway’s talented office job recruiters? The benefits include:
Streamline Hiring Process
Writing and posting job advertisements, sourcing candidates and screening resumes, going through multiple interview processes… tackling your hiring needs yourself can be time-consuming and burdensome. One of the biggest benefits of partnering with a staffing firm is the chance to streamline the hiring process. We’ll find qualified candidates for you, and you’ll be able to choose which candidate fits your organizational and cultural needs best. Letting us handle the heavy lifting means you’re freed up to focus on business objectives and meeting goals.
All the time and resources you would otherwise put into the hiring process yourself is saved when you outsource your hiring with the help of a staffing firm. Plus, because utilizing an office temp agency allows you to scale up and down as needed, adapting to varying business demands during peak seasons and slow times, you’re not wasting money by hiring full-time employees when you don’t really need them. To put it simply, working with a staffing partner is one of the best ways to save time and money when it comes to making your next hire.
Find Qualified Candidates Quickly
Sometimes, you don’t have weeks to spend filtering through resumes and picking out the perfect candidate. There are cases when you need a qualified professional, fast – perhaps when a deadline is looming or a project needs specialized talent. Using a staffing firm means you can find the talent you need, when you need it.
If your organization is looking for qualified talent, either for in-office or remote positions, turn to Workway. We specialize in title, escrow, mortgage, and foreclosure and with offices from coast to coast, we can help you find the candidates you’re looking for regardless of your location.
Get in touch with a member of Workway’s professional recruitment agency to learn more about what we can offer your organization. We look forward to getting started.