Returning to the office after a prolonged work-from-home situation can feel like a strain on some employees. Change management can be tough. But there are good reasons to have people together in person, at least some of the time during the work week. Here are a few things you can do as a manager to make the transition easier on your team, but also make an in-office culture that energizes employees.
How Can You Rebuild Office Culture?
Communicate Expectations Clearly
One of the most important things to make the transition effective is to communicate your expectations with your employees clearly. Let them know how many days per week they will now be required to work in the office. If there are certain hours in the day when teams are expected to be on-site, make sure that’s in writing and easily found for anyone who has questions. Set expectations early and make sure there is no confusion. Clarity is kindness, especially when you are asking your workforce to change their processes around how they get work done.
Provide Flexibility When You Can
Not every team can be flexible when it comes to working remotely. But when issues like illness or lack of access to childcare make it impossible for an easy return to the office, having a compassionate approach to flexibility can work in your favor. These are still challenging times for a lot of people. If you can, offering flexible work hours and a supportive culture that enables collaboration is the best way to meet a variety of needs with compassion.
Prioritize In-Person Activities
Think about what it is you want to achieve by having your staff return to the office. Are there certain meetings that have better outcomes when attendees are in the same location? Are you seeing improvements in collaboration when team members are able to work together at specific milestones on certain projects? Knowing what you want to prioritize with in-person work can help you get the most out of a hybrid work model. It can also be helpful to know what work activities are best done in isolation. Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve as you return to the office can help you communicate those opportunities to your employees.
Create a Fantastic Employee Experience
Creating a great employee experience is about more than providing ping pong tables and free snacks. Creating a strong corporate culture is about helping your employees do the best work of their careers and making sure they enjoy doing it with you. Creating a more tailored environment to foster collaboration and addressing employees’ basic needs can make for a fantastic employee experience in the office. The better the experience, the more invested employees, will be to come back in person.
Ready to Rebuild Your Company Culture Post-Pandemic?
For help fostering a work culture that employees can’t wait to come into the office for, connect with the team at CPS today.