With the freedom to choose between staying at home or coming into work, the top question for senior management has become: What can we do so employees want to come into the office, even if they don’t have to?
Here are some of the top things employees will be seeking as they head back to the office:
Safety –The first step to getting people back to the office is ensuring they feel just as safe there as they do at home. Be transparent about the steps your company is taking to maintain a safe workplace and be vigilant about following those steps. Understand that not everyone will be comfortable coming back, so be willing to adapt to individuals’ specific needs.
Focus Spaces – Whether due to lack of space or abundance of other people, some employees don’t have a space where they can focus at home. The workplace has to provide a distraction-free space that promotes productivity and focus. Some companies have even installed booths where employees can work or take calls without being disrupted or disrupting others. Letting employees book time to work alone in a conference room is another way to support quiet, individual work.
Socialization – The number one thing that employees are missing when they’re at home is socialization. Face-to-face interaction is vital to fostering a sense of community, networking, and team building. Provide a space for employees to interact throughout the day and hold occasional social events. Something as simple as a well-stocked healthy snack and coffee area where people can take a break and talk is a great place to start. Making your kitchen colorful and healthy with fresh items will remind your employees why the office is a great space to enjoy their working hours.
Wellness Programs – In a time when staying healthy is more important than ever, employees need support for their wellness goals. Free services related to wellness, such as stocking the kitchen with healthy food and offering fitness programs, will encourage people to leave their houses. Incorporate a social aspect too by encouraging employees to take on a wellness challenge together and offering rewards for healthy habits.
Outdoor Environments – Fresh air and sunlight benefit mental and physical health. At home, people can step outside during their lunch break, so give them the same opportunity at the office. Patios, terraces, and outdoor dining areas allow employees to take a mental break and gather in a safer way. If you don’t have access to an outdoor area, bring the outdoors to you with plant life. Plants absorb toxins to purify the air and have been linked to improved mood, productivity, and creativity.