Are Remote Workers Ready to Go Back to the Office?

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It’s a catch 22 when it comes to remote work.  Sitting at home, in pajamas, working on the computer and chatting with cronies sounded great when the pandemic first started.  A year later…..not so much.  These people are lonely, bored, overwhelmed with other responsibilities like kids, aging parents and more…all while needing to stay relevant, connected to their teams and productive. 

It’s more important now than ever to make sure offices are equipped for them to come back and that they feel safe when they do. Employers must not forget the impact of Covid-19 on their peoples’ emotional and psychological health. Nearly half of employees are concerned their employers will bring them back to work before it’s safe, and more than half worry about the future of the company they work for — and if their job will be there! The anxiety generated by these circumstances can produce fatigue, concentration problems, not to mention sky high stress levels — all of which negatively impact work performance.

So how can companies ease the stress of returning to their normal job situation?  Here are some suggestions:

               1) Make sure your employees know that their well-being is your top priority. As an upper level manager/leader, it’s your job to make sure your people feel safe!   Lead from the heart, not from the wallet. People are ALWAYS more important than product!

                2) Be authentic and transparent when giving them information. When you do speak with them, let them know you understand. Have empathy and share your own concerns to facilitate conversations.

               3) Execute the recommended public health measures. Basically, follow CDC guidelines. Don’t know exactly what they are?  Go here, the CDC website, to find out.

               4) Train HR execs, leaders and managers in how to effectively communicate and assist them in reducing stress levels. If you want some more specifics about what’s troubling them, take a poll before they return, ask them what would make them feel more comfortable. We provide this service, as well as ways to keep their stress at bay.

               5) Hire competent consultants who are versed in shifting people’s mindsets and keeping them positive.  Purposeful play, meditation and team building games all assist with keeping employees engaged and support them as change happens organizationally.

               6) Give them the opportunity to work a hybrid model-coming in part of the time while working full time.  Consider this taking baby steps so they’re comfortable with the transition.

March is the perfect time to make sure all your ducks are in a row as restrictions are easing up. The weather is turning warmer, there is hope in the air and college basketball’s March Madness is underway.

Let’s keep the “madness” for basketball, shall we? Follow our suggestions and your people will not only feel safer, they’ll appreciate your concern for their well-being. 

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