Many businesses are struggling to convince their employees to return to the office. This is largely because almost half of employees have expressed their willingness to quit their job or find a new one if required to return. However, with 90% of businesses planning to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024, it might be time to adopt a gentler approach to encourage your staff to return.
Adopt Flexible Workspace Options
Empower employees with the choice of where and how they work by creating an adaptable work model based on their task requirements and personal circumstances. For example, a flexible workspace policy could enable employees to work in different office areas, such as quiet zones, collaborative spaces or outdoor areas. Another approach is the results-oriented work environment model, which focuses on productivity and outcomes rather than physical presence in the office. With this approach, employees can manage their time and choose their work location as long as they meet their performance targets.
Emphasize Diversity & Inclusion
Highlight how opting for in-person office settings can substantially enhance diversity and inclusion. After all, when team members work together in the same space, they have a unique opportunity to engage with and gain a deeper understanding of their colleagues’ perspectives. In-person settings also promote spontaneous conversations and chance encounters that are less likely to occur in virtual environments. These types of interactions can help break down barriers and lead to more authentic connections between employees of different backgrounds.
In an attempt to incentivize the return to office, employers are offering perks such as pet allowances and errand assistance. While those are innovative benefits, one study revealed that employees are primarily looking for other extras, such as free or subsidized on-site meals, commuter benefits, gym memberships or allowances, and improved technology that makes their work experience more efficient.
Provide Personalized Support
Each employee has unique needs that require a more personalized approach. For instance, employees with young children may benefit the most from childcare options. Other employees may want flexibility to accommodate specific scheduling needs. Regardless, leaders can nurture trust and loyalty when they demonstrate empathy and understanding. When employees know that their concerns and needs are being considered, they have higher job satisfaction and engagement and, thus, are more likely to return to the office.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Establish policies that discourage employees from working after hours or sending emails outside their regular work schedule. This helps reinforce the importance of taking time off and setting boundaries between work and personal life. By promoting a culture that values work-life balance, businesses can motivate their staff to return to the office, ensuring they feel supported in an environment that respects their professional and personal needs.
By creating a positive and motivating work environment, your business can persuade employees to return to the office without making it mandatory. A few options include providing flexibility and support, offering incentives, encouraging work-life balance, and emphasizing diversity and inclusion.
Connect with us to help you identify and implement return-to-work strategies.