Many Americans are being asked to come back to the office just as abruptly as they were sent home last year. But just as work from home took a lot of getting used to, many employees are uneasy about a sudden return to in-person work. Here are three tips on how leaders can make this transition more comfortable for them.
Keep collaborative technology in play
Technology like messaging apps, video meetings, and workflow platforms was crucial during the pandemic, and, in many cases, actually improved productivity. This technology allowed more ideas to be shared and increased efficiency. Chances are while getting used to commuting, sending kids to school, and catching up on missed medical appointments, people are still going to be doing some work outside of the office, so this technology should stay in place to bridge that gap.
Be realistic about productivity
With no social activities and a mere four feet between the office and the bedroom, many workers took on extra workloads during the pandemic. However, as we adjust back to social life and activities, there will be more distractions and inconveniences to disrupt workflow. Be patient, and set clear and achievable productivity expectations, with flexibility for the unexpected.
Support the work-life balance
As the pandemic exacerbated mental health struggles, and work from home strained the work-life balance, many companies took the initiative to promote a healthy work culture with virtual happy hours, mental wellness days, and even company-sponsored online yoga courses. Leaders should keep this balance in mind as we return to the office and continue to prioritize employees’ mental health to avoid burnout and boost creativity.