How To Return To Office After COVID
What do the experts and psychologists say about the best way to approach going back to office after working remotely.
Presentation by Jonathan Katz, CEO, Business on a Browser
Learn more about how Jonathan help clients transition their business to a browser.
1. Be very clear on what the logistics are
Everyone is returning to the office with their own various backgrounds and opinions on what has transpired and what will continue to transpire. The first thing that anyone needs to do when they are accepting people back in the office is to be clear on logistics.
With work from home set up, people are having online meetings one after the other, that is going to change. Be very clear on the working hours. Are people expected to be on time for meetings? Is there going to be a little bit of a grace period if people are late? Do people need to be in the office Monday through Friday? Is there any flexibility for people to come every MWF or TTH? Making sure that people feel comfortable and know exactly what to expect goes a long way.
Whatever your policy is or whatever guidelines you are following, make sure that everyone is well aware of exactly what to expect when returning to the office.
Make it very clear to your team what your company policy is so that they can either follow it or communicate to you that they disagree with what you set forth. If that's the case then engage in a conversation but set very clear logistics.
2. Get some activities lined up
With people re-emerging to work together and see each other for the first time in a while, start with some fun activities or icebreakers to ease people back in.
You need to have a little bit of fun. There are some people out there that are super excited to get back into the office. They're thrilled to leave their home and talk to people in person.
At the same time, there's going to be a lot of people that have some hesitancy. A lot of people have adapted to a new way of life working from home like having their chores lined up during calls. When returning to the office, people are going to be changing how they have done things for the past year. One of the best things you can do for them is to make it a little light-hearted.
If people are coming back to the office on September 7th, don't have your quarter-end review on September 8th. Let people ease back into the office. Let them get more comfortable with this new way of life.
Again, one of the best strategies is to start with some light-hearted activities. Get people feeling energized again about coming back into the office.
Some people are going to be reintroduced to each other for the first time in a while. Have some group activities. Let people reintroduce themselves to one another. It is in human nature that when working with someone if you don't have an underlying connection, it could add strain on some of the other things that you're looking to do in the office.
Get them back in with some activities, get everyone excited and it will go a long way.
3. Understand Your Team
When you talk to people on a daily basis everyone has their own trials and tribulations just below the surface. The things that they've experienced at home, things taking place with their family and in general - you always want the understanding of that.
This last year has amplified that to quite a degree so it is really a good idea to take a couple of minutes and have a personal connection with people on your team, especially the people you work with. Understand what happened to them over the past year. Quite a lot of people had very different experiences. It means a difference to understand what people went through and what's behind them at home with their family.
As a manager, if you can understand what your people are going through, you can better connect with them. If you can show that you are able to understand what they're going through and you can work with them, they're going to come in and they're going to have much more energy and enthusiasm to jump back into working in person.
Re-engage people, make it clear what your expectations are, and take time to understand the psyche behind each of your team members. Be compassionate. That is going to be the best thing that is going to help everyone get acclimated back to the office quickly.
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