Getting Employees to Return to the Office

Return to Office Blog Image

By the 360Score Team

How to Motivate Employees to Return to the Office
2020 changed many things about how people go to work. For some people, the work-from-home life was their least favorite part of 2020, but for other people working from home was the answer to all of their hopes and prayers. Home office life offers benefits that traditional office realities do not.

Now that people are being asked to return to work, employers are trying to figure out how to make the process fun and exciting for employees. Even if you love working at your desk in your office, you will still likely experience an adjustment period as you get used to working away from home.

You might be worried about how to convince your employees that working in the office again is a great decision full of benefits that they have forgotten about. If you need some help motivating your employees to get the return to the office, read on for some tips and tricks!

Remember that younger employees already value their quality of life over their job and are less likely to sacrifice their mental health for their job. Remote team life can offer them the flexibility to save time on their work commute and take care of their work-life balance in ways that office space jobs cannot.

Incentivize employees about coming back to the office by making it worth their while and being prepared to be flexible about some of the requests that you are likely to receive related to work-life balance.

1. Offer Flex Time and Flex Benefits
Human resources experts are advising companies to remember that the last year and a half has proven how well employees can handle working from home every day without a drop in productivity. This proof of concept related to remote work should put your concerns about productivity to rest when an employee asks for some personal time to take care of personal needs

Remember as well, that people are going to be less tolerant of working with employees who are sick, and you will need to consider requiring employees who are sick to work from home until they are no longer contagious. Despite the efficacious nature of Covid-19 vaccines, people are bound to have these concerns. Remember that the return to work will not be a return to business as it once was and consider ways to make it possible for employees to balance work and home life needs.

2. Make Sure to Track Employee Happiness and Engagement
You will need to keep your finger on the pulse of employee sentiment and emotions about the return to work. Many people will feel uncomfortable with the first few days of their change from a remote employee to an employee who no longer works from home. If their hard feelings about bringing employees back to work have not lessened after a couple of weeks, you need to be aware of this issue. Negativity on any team can bring down the morale of the entire company.

One of the best ways to track employee sentiment and engagement is through tools that allow you to survey employee opinion and track response. Tools like allow you to track employee feedback as well as empower your teams to send review information to you directly and in confidence.

You are not likely to get the same kind of feedback through in-person contact or large meetings with everyone from your company in the same room, so these tools are a great way to connect with your employees and make sure that you are meeting their expectations to handle this adjustment process.

3. Consider Hybrid Work Options
For some people, the work-life balance that they were offered through life as a remote worker, allowed them to become happier team members and made it possible for them to be more connected with their family. Being sensitive to this need can take many forms, but one of the best ways to attend to employees who are not interested in coming back to the office is to offer a hybrid work option.

Distributed team planning can make it possible for you to allow your team members who are not enthusiastic about returning to the office to feel connected through video calls or team connectivity apps like Teams. People who work on a hybrid basis will typically be allowed to choose two days to come into the office and will work the rest of the week at home.

The arrangement of your hybrid work option can be tailored to your company’s unique needs and the needs of your teams.

4. Make it Fun
You can leverage a sense of fun by offering employees the chance to meet team goals in exchange for fun activities. These team-building activities might take the form of an after-hours event that everyone is excited about or maybe you can arrange a fun scavenger hunt in the office one day.

Poll your team members about the kinds of fun activities that they like to enjoy and then create goals-based fun that can help motivate your team to enjoy the office again. Many people feel starved of human connection from the work at home period, and they will thank you for the chance to enjoy time with work friends while in the office.

Motivating Employees to Come Back to Work is All About Give and Take
The move from fully remote work to hybrid or in-office work requires a delicate touch. Companies are still trying to sort out the right balance of personal time flexibility and in-office time that will make employees happy while also promoting company culture and togetherness. You cannot expect your returning employees to embrace the ways of the past now that they have experienced an entirely different work reality and work culture for the past year.

Contact us for help engaging with your employees and streamline the return to work process. Make sure to get feedback from your employees and work with them to find the right solutions to make the return to work in the office a pleasure for everyone involved.