09/02/2021

Return to the office

Return to the office

Now that offices and workplaces are returning to somewhat of a normal post COVID operating environment it is time to start thinking about what that means for team members. 2020 was a year like no other, we can say that retrospectively. Buzz words were incorporated into our everyday vernacular and for some eye rolls where the only exercise they got.

Recently as a HR Professional we were asked to pen my thoughts on what I should happen in the return to work process. After all we know HR loves a good process. Whilst this one may not be as linear as some would like it to be, here is some points that need to be considered.

Communication is key. Consultation is necessary.

Just because you can, does it mean that you should ? Whilst there are benefits to both sides of the coin; being in the office or at home there has been a significant disconnect and upheaval surrounding employment in 2020. The trepidation that exists is a real and not something that can be ignored. Moving forward dialogue needs to occur so that there is a mutual understanding between Employers and Employees, there is not a blanket approach, flexibility will be paramount. Individual perceptions will influence understanding and that in itself has potential to be detrimental for Employers. Never before has empathy played such a major component in how businesses operate. However it will be a large driver in the success and return to an normal office environment.

In an effort to overcome this implementing staff engagement survey is a great place to start. Knowing how your team feels and what their pain points are gives you a great framework to start from. It also then allows you to make conclusions without assumptions which is a large component of being empathetic. The survey can then be completed at a later timepoint and gives you the opportunity to measure what it is that you have implemented and or make changes. It’s a simple exercise that has the ability to give you great insight without confrontation.

People are complex and so are businesses, COVID has intensified this like no other. There are solutions out there, but adaptability and flexibility are keen in managing it until a permanent solution is found.

Need help with supporting your network/employees with the new way of working? Let us help, contact Now Actually to assist with strategies and implementation – your people are our people.