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Returning to Work after Pandemic: How to Motivate Your Employees

After over a year of remote work forced by uncertain time, many workplaces have started reopening their doors.

While some relish the idea of reconnecting with their peers in person and replacing their kitchen table-top with a dedicated work desk, some are stressed about this transition.

The majority of employees are not willing to go back to the office. According to one survey, over 20% of employees value the safety and flexibility of remote working and are ready to quit their job if they are insisted by their boss to join back to the office.

Well, workers have their valid reasons why they feel so stressed out about joining back to the office. Some are worried about returning to work as most Americans haven’t yet been vaccinated. Then, some of them are used to the perks of working from home such as flexibility and freedom from commuting.

That’s why going back to the office might be scary, jarring, and awkward for some of your employees. Resuming after lockdown can impact their mental health.

How to motivate your people to come back to the office?

To support the transition, you need to change policies, the physical workplace and renew your approach to employee relations.

Here’s how…

Promote the Safety:

First of all, ensure the office is safe for your employees to work in.

Opt for a cleaning service to deep clean the entire workplace. The effective cleaning solutions will eliminate more germs than household products, plus they will be used in every nook and corner where bacteria and viruses could be thriving.

A deep clean will encourage your employees to join back to the office and make the space sparkling and fresh for their return.

Change Your Policies and Procedures:

The COVID 19 has changed the way how every industry functions.

Therefore, the time has come to review your current policies and procedures and upgrade them to complement the current practices.

You can start by updating your sick leave policy by adding information about COVID-19. Are employees allowed to get extra days off if they test positive for the COVID 19? Is there a provision for extra leaves for the employees living with or taking care of an infected person?

Introducing such positive changes can help to put your workers’ minds at ease.

Show Support for Employees’ Mental Health:

It goes without saying that isolation and quarantining during the lockdown might have impacted the mental health of your workers. They might experience fear, anger, sadness, confusion, or irritability. You should be aware of the possible effects and have resources ready to help.

Ask your HR team to monitor the employees for such mental health effects. The leftover impact from isolation coupled with getting back to a regular work routine can be challenging, so it is important to look for the worried employees.

Social events like happy hours, coffee breaks, and birthday celebrations can be introduced to bring your people together at a workplace.

You can also create a mental health support group so that your employees can share their feelings and stories there.

Mental health leave can be incorporated into your paid time off policies.

Help Them Embrace New Normal:

Apart from taking care of their mental health and engagement, make sure to determine if they have the skills and abilities to do their job in the post-pandemic work scenario.

Assessing their skills can help by measuring important skills gaps and opportunities.

Social interactions, cross-training, and joint projects are some ways to speed up their adaptability to this “new normal”.

However, make sure to stay patient, empathetic, and kind during the transition and to involve them in figuring out the solutions to each challenge.

The Bottom Line:

So these are some measures to put your employees’ minds at ease while calling them back to the office.

The pandemic phase has not only changed the way we work, but also our mindset and outlook. Therefore, you need to show your support and solidarity with your people so that they can feel encouraged to coming back to the workplace.