For businesses across the world, returning to work has been far from the norm of pre-pandemic life. While technology has enabled us to implement remote workforces in a face-to-face capacity, re-adjusting to in-person employment has had its various challenges.
With patience, empathy, and leadership driving change in a positive way, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With so many benefits to working alongside your co-workers again, fostering a safe and mindful environment will pave the way to productivity and, most importantly, employee wellbeing.
In-person working will look a bit different for every business.
While some companies may have embraced the hybrid model long ago, others will still be weighing the pros and cons of leaving the remote, home office. The same goes for employees, with the demand for work location flexibility at an all-time high. While some individuals may thrive in a remote-working environment, others will crave the collaboration of colleagues in a way that only the in-office environment can offer.
However in-person working fits into your business, here are 5 tips on adjusting to the ‘new normal, again!
1. Welcome change
“Remember the good old days?” While reverting to the past way of working may be the easy route, welcoming change now will empower employees to embrace the new world of working one step at a time. Helping colleagues realize that things aren’t going to be the same (but that’s okay!) can make the return to in-person working comfortably again. By removing the expectation of how “things used to be”, employees can focus on the present – with their physical presence having a greater impact on the here and now. The future of the modern workforce is important but remains a moving target as businesses continue to rethink and rebuild.
2. Build a culture of trust
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that trust can go a long way. With the majority of businesses adopting the remote working model, employees have sought strong leadership for reassurance and guidance. The same still remains for in-person working. Trusting that the business is putting its employees first, trusting that employees’ safety and wellbeing will continue to be the top priority. Without that trust, what reasons do employees have to perform at their best and drive productivity for the business? For businesses of all kinds, building a culture of inclusivity, trust and openness will help make this transition to the new way of working a smooth one.
3. Encourage communication
Communication is key, but the way we communicate has changed. Some businesses may have been Zooming long before Covid hit, while others will have never held a video call in their careers. Regardless, in-person working is about collaborating and encouraging the important blend of both digital and physical face-to-face interaction. Having worked behind screens so consistently over the last two years, this adjustment won’t always be an easy and quick transition. By checking in regularly with staff and holding all-hands meetings to motivate and inspire teams, employees will soon be reminded of the benefits of in-person working. This will help to build their confidence with the support of other familiar faces!
4. Promote transparency
On top of solid communication, transparency within any business is a cornerstone of succes. As the world of work continues to transform before our eyes, transparency from leaders can give employees the peace of mind they need. Whether that’s a recent policy change or providing important company updates, involving employees from the onset can help them feel part of the decision-making. Holding regular meetings for all team members, whether in the office or working from home, can also help to prevent disconnect. Transparency between colleagues should also be encouraged as teams get used to working in person again. Anonymous feedback channels are a great thing to implement, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard through this period of transition.
5. Embrace flexibility
With the pandemic prompting many businesses to re-assess their strategies, remote operations have meant embracing a flexible way of working. And it shouldn’t stop there! As employees re-adjust to in-person working, leaders who show flexibility and patience will only help streamline that process. Whether allowing employees to return gradually or on their terms, leaders who support individuals on a case-by-case basis will likely have more success in creating the perfect hybrid workforce. With both work and home lives transforming as a result of the pandemic, approaching this change with compassion and an open mind can help to ensure your team will stick with you beyond this point and into the future.
At ADDA Infusion, we understand your business journey is unique. With our expert, flexible approach to the ever-changing needs of our clients, we believe there is always a solution we can provide to solve your challenge.
To find out more, contact us a line by filling out the form here.
Our team looks forward to starting the conversation on how we can engrain ourselves into your company and help to meet your needs!