Four Tips from Employees on an Easier Transition Back to the Workplace
Some employees and workers are apprehensive to get back to the office; here are tips provided for a more welcoming approach back.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Jul 08, 2021
There is talk all around the country for different companies to allow employees back in the office. LaSalle Network’s Office Re-Entry Index finds that most CEOs that were surveyed believe everyone will be back in their workspace by the fall. However, it will not be the same as before. The Willis Towers Watson 2021 Employee Experience Survey found that around 94 percent of employers said “providing a better employee experience was a top priority for them.” Most are expecting a hybrid workforce to now be the norm.
“What people want is a high-performing employee experience. So, that that means when they arrive at the workplace—whether that’s virtual, remote, or in some form, hybrid work arrangement—they want that experience, the sum, essentially, of all the touchpoints, and the moments that matter between an individual and their organization, to be as high performing as possible,” says Andy Walker, managing director, Willis Towers Watson.
Social distancing is key. According to an article, at a real estate technology company, dividers were added between desks, seating was changed and capacity limits were set. Subsidized parking was also enabled for people who felt uncomfortable using public transportation.
“[Our HR operations team] anticipated the needs and is trying to help ease some of that natural fear and anxiety of, ‘Okay, what am I coming back to? And especially then there were still so many unknowns,” says Shelly Just, team lead, implementation management at HqO. “HqO has been really intentional and genuine about ensuring everyone felt comfortable enough to come back to the office and ensuring the guidelines we put in place were respected by everyone who was choosing to come into the office.”
Listening and Phasing Reentry
Some employees express concerns about losing freedom, safety and productivity when returning to the office especially when having to commute again. Prane Wang, head of market development at medical scheduling platform Zocdoc, is ready to get back to the office.
“I miss in-person interaction and spontaneous catch-ups that bring people closer in a workplace. So I can’t wait to see everyone in real life and find out how tall everyone is,” she says.
Supporting Employee Finances and Mental Health
Online marketplace, Etsy, made working from home a lot easier with a $100-per-month stipend to help employees offset the costs of working from home. The company also subsidized ergonomically correct home office furniture to help ensure working from home is comfortable.
“I can open up a help desk ticket, and have someone consult with me about the ergonomics of my home office setup,” says Christina Goldschmidt, head of product design.
Kate Collins, the digital project manager at marketing firm Postali, started going back to the office in June. Collins says she feels safe being back because of the communication, plans and safety measures set up in the workplace.
“They shared that our office was deep cleaned ahead of our first day, and our chief of staff created helpful ‘Return to Office’ documentation around parking, office security, conference room etiquette, etc.,” she says.