Nearly two years after the pandemic caused a rapid shift to remote and hybrid working models, many organizations agree it's time to move back to the office. Still, not everybody is on board with changing to an in-person arrangement. According to a Gallup poll of people working remote-capable jobs, only 6% of respondents preferred on-premise work.
So, how can employers smooth the transition back to the office? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
Create a gradual reboarding process
The transition back to in-person work doesn't have to be as jarring. Your employees have likely grown comfortable with their current at-home work arrangements, and a sudden change could disrupt them and, ultimately, hinder your operations.
Instead of requiring everyone to come back all at once, consider developing a reboarding plan and process to reintroduce people to the office gradually. For instance, you could implement flexible policies that allow employees to choose on-premise and at-home schedules. That way, you can ease the burden of another shift in work arrangements.
Emphasize the employee experience
With the Great Resignation likely to persist into 2023, and over 4 million people quitting their jobs each month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employee experience has never been more important. It's critical that any decision you make keeps their best interests in mind, especially considering working arrangements.
One way to encourage a positive transition is to offer on-premise amenities that create a welcoming environment. On top of more tangible benefits, like free meals or child care, you should also work to foster a positive company culture. While this is more nebulous, developing a supportive and collaborative work environment will remind employees of what they missed while working from home.
Communicate often and openly
No matter the benefits of in-office work, your employees' perceptions will depend on how you communicate these changes. Leaders need to talk with employees about how the transition will work and how it might affect them, but they also need to keep an open door for questions, comments and feedback. By listening to your employees' concerns and actually addressing them, you'll not only do your part in creating a great company culture, but you'll also be able to take proactive steps to make the transition easier.
At the end of the day, not all employees will want to work on-premise — even at the leadership level. According to CNBC, around 64% of the global workforce has or would consider searching for a new job due to in-office requirements. If your company is committed to a return to in-person work, it might be wise to look for new talent to fill their positions.
YES Partners can help you find the global executives you need to keep operations running smoothly in the office or at home.
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