Is It Time To Go Back To The Office?

by | Nov 22, 2021 | WFH - WFA

Most business leaders are planning to get their employees to return to the office. However, their workforce is having second thoughts since experiencing the benefits of working remotely.

While some miss their workstations and their physical office, employee safety, health, and wellbeing must be a top priority as they return.

Many big companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google have pushed back their return-to-work plans for the welfare of their employees. However, if the bigger companies are reluctant to do so, many smaller companies start to think twice.

Let’s weigh every aspect of this plan and how a hybrid work setup sounds more feasible to most organizations today.

If you’re eager to proceed with your return to office plan, here are some things that may help.

Redesign your Office Space for Distancing

Research from the University of Chicago found that 42% of workers would either quit or start looking for a new job if required to return to the office full-time. Hence, you have to redesign your workstations into something comfortable and spacious for everyone. Before the outbreak, many firms were transitioning to open office floor plans and removing cubicles. Furthermore, there are some guidelines for social distancing regarding COVID-19, so the usual floor that can carry 30 employees may only have 15 or fewer after the final layout. Around 6 feet between workstations is not a joke if you consider all the unutilized spaces.

Deep-Clean Your Office and Maintain Hygiene Protocols

Back then, we cleaned our office spaces perhaps twice or thrice a week. However, with the risk of a pandemic, a consistent, extensive cleaning schedule is required at least twice a day. In addition, a recent Korn Ferry survey said that 54% of professionals are hesitant to return to the office because of the surge of infections, and over 20% said they didn’t expect to return until 2022.

Reassess Your Healthcare Plans

As your employees return to the office for work, they will go back to their daily commutes. We all know that commuting is long considered one of the most unpleasant parts of being a professional. Hence, there’s a big chance that they can catch the virus along the way. As a business leader, you should reassess your healthcare benefits and other insurances if something happens to your workforce.

Consider Hybrid Setup

When managers start talking about bringing employees back to work, it’s natural for many employees to resist. However, as more companies allow their teams to work from home, many employees consider its benefits and want to keep it that way. Meanwhile, you can also consider a hybrid setup where employees can work remotely and report to the office when necessary or on a schedule.

more productive employees when working from home

U.S. employees who are more productive in a work from setup

equally effective in an office setup

U.S. employees who are equally productive in an office setup

The data above is based on a Fortune poll conducted in June 2021. Hence, there’s no reason that employers cannot allow employees to choose where they work. In the new world of work, companies should be more output-driven.

employers reported difficulty attracting workers

Employers who find it difficult to attract employees

during first half of the year

Employers find it hard to find employees during the first half of the year

employers having retention problem

Employers have retention problems

According to a recent Slack survey, one of the main reasons employees are drawn to the hybrid work style is flexibility. Finding balance is simpler when you have a flexible work schedule. In addition, employees have greater control over running errands, spending quality time with their children, and doing personal things.

On a hybrid setup, some organizations may enable every person to work on-site and remotely for a portion of the week. Other businesses may have workers that work either full-time remotely or full-time on-site.

Going hybrid bridges the gap between remote and on-site settings. It allows employees to collaborate with ease. However, as more employees seek flexibility, companies must adhere to the demands of the new world of work to retain talent to stay ahead of the competition.

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