Business leaders seek the right balance between in-person and remote work. Recent surveys show over half of employees are expected to be fully remote or hybrid in the next few years, a big jump from pre-pandemic levels.
As a business, take these six actions to get employees back into the office:
Give People a Reason to Come In
While remote work has benefits, research shows it also has downsides like isolation and blurred work-life boundaries. In-person work is better for connecting with colleagues, focused collaboration and learning. Give compelling reasons to come in like career development opportunities and team building activities. Make the office experience focused on employees.
Surveys show workers want flexibility, cost savings, and better time management from remote work. Assess what arrangements, technologies, and processes allow flexibility. For example, require onsite 3 days a week but let employees choose which days. Or set consistent in-office days but allow remote work other days.
Offer flexible schedules to avoid rush hour if possible. Data shows office occupancy varies greatly by day depending on region. Recognise a one-size-fits-all approach won't work.
Appreciate Those Who Stayed On-Site
Remember that even during COVID, around 35% of employees remained onsite, like frontline healthcare workers and factory employees. They bristle at "back to work" since they never left. Connect with them, understand their needs, and show appreciation.
Listen to Employees
Research shows successful companies conduct surveys and focus groups to understand employee preferences. Connect often with employees to keep pace with their evolving needs. Reimagine the employee experience for the new work culture.
Update Your Benefits Programs
Most organisations are redesigning pay, benefits, and wellbeing programs for the mix of remote and onsite workers. For example, provide stipends for remote workers. Eliminate outdated programs.
Managers need help engaging employees and leading teams in the new normal. Provide training on strategies for career development and creating compelling environments regardless of worker location and hours.
Getting the perfect balance between in-office and remote work is hard. If you offer less flexibility, offset it with attractive offices, pay and benefits. Stay focused on employee wellbeing and your business goals.