Returning to the office…That’s great.
Or is it? Listen here
The Global pandemic has changed our working practices for the last twelve months…Furlough, home working and for some, a combination of both. Returning to work after furlough has been strange for some. For others, their jobs gone in totality.
As people start to return, there becomes issues both for Leaders and for the workforce. In terms of furloughed staff, consider them as new employees and allocate time with them on day one…similarly with the team as a whole. Talk about their wellbeing and their expectations. Likewise, about any changes within the business, about plans and of course their role. Meet regularly. Their confidence and work ethics may have dipped. Nurture them and work with them…sit down with them more than you may normally do.
For those simply replacing the home office and returning to the workplace, parts of the above (if not all) will still apply.
It is essential that the office has a clear Covid policy and that this is communicated clearly to all. There may even be a feeling of uncertainty…back to work, not the cosy settings of a room at home…a very relaxed dress code!! We become conditioned to our circumstances…we are creatures of habits…Make the “return to work fun” and celebrate the “coming together”! It’s quite natural that people may ask about a “hybrid model” …part office & part home. What will your answer be? What will your policy be? Ultimately, what is best for the business AND for the team.
It’s worth remembering, that we all have a natural desire to feel wanted and to be part of a team. Similarly, the warmth of having people around us…use that to your advantage, and create a warm feeling of togetherness, but don’t rush things…people will gradually readjust, while some might already be relishing it.
Some will even be nervous of the closeness of people around them. Listen to your people while creating an environment that they will both be proud to return to while relish the sense of team.
One team, one mission, in this together in a return to near normal.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”