The recent increase in remote employment worldwide has irrevocably changed the way people work. While working remotely has many benefits, however, there are also some drawbacks. Many business leaders believe that communication, company culture, and camaraderie all improve when employees are physically together in a designated workplace. Onsite work can also increase productivity and accountability, which all improve your bottom line.
If you want to experience the benefits of an in-office work model, you may have to change the way your employees currently work. Whether you need to move your employees back to the office after pandemic restrictions or you simply want to integrate your remote workforce into an onsite work model, here are four ways to help smooth the transition.
1. Make Sure the Work Environment is Comfortable
One of the most oft-cited benefits of working from home is the comfortable work environment many employees enjoy when they work in their own space. If working in the office is a significant step down in the comfort department, employees won’t want to be there.
You can make your office comfortable and efficient by addressing the following:
- Workspace layout: Trends have shown that many companies are beginning to favor more open workspaces that foster collaborative teamwork. However, you should still be sure to give your employees workspaces that offer quiet, privacy, and security.
- Technology: Make sure that your office space addresses the technology needs of your employees. A reliable internet connection, adequate outlets and docking stations, and easy access to printers and copy machines may all be worth consideration.
- Lighting: Having good light instantly makes your office more appealing and improves the mood of your employees. Where possible, you may want to create access to natural light.
- Break rooms: Ensure that your employees have an inviting space to relax and socialize when they’re taking a break. You may want to facilitate lunch breaks by providing access to a fridge and microwave, and you can even provide coffee and a snack bar.
When your office space meets your employees’ needs, they’ll be more happy about coming into work every day.
2. Consider a Hybrid Work Model
You and your employees might be hesitant to entirely let go of the benefits of working remotely. If you want to have the best of both worlds, you might consider a hybrid work model where employees have opportunities to work from home sometimes and come into the office at other times.
To create a successful hybrid work model, you need to consider the actual roles your employees perform and what they require to optimally perform their tasks.
For example, some roles, such as product planning, require a lot of collaboration and teamwork, things which may be better accomplished in a face-to-face setting. On the other hand, strategic planning and financial work require employees to gather, analyze, and synthesize data and information, tasks which may benefit from the increased focus working remotely can provide.
As you look at the tasks your employees perform on a regular basis and what work environment would best facilitate those tasks, you can determine different schedules and optimize your employee’s time.
You’ll also want to provide your employees with the resources they need to maintain their work schedule. If you have employees who come back and forth from the office, you may want to provide them with laptops that they can take with them instead of having them log into different computers. Do everything you can to streamline workflow and enable employees to access what they need, whether they’re at home or in the office.
3. Invite the Input of Your Employees
As you proceed with your transition, be certain to clearly communicate with your employees and invite them to give their input. They understand what it takes to do their job, and they should be able to tell you what is and isn’t working for them.
As previously discussed, different roles and positions may determine how often employees should come into the office. However, even different employees in the same role might have different needs, so be sure to accommodate those needs as you move forward. For instance, if one employee lives farther away from your physical location, you might require them to come into the office less frequently than someone who lives nearby.
4. Be Patient
Above all, remember that moving to an in-office environment will be a learning curve for everyone. Be patient as your company makes the transition and understand that it might take some time for employees to get used to their new work situation. Work may go slower as individuals adjust to new expectations and new methods of working.
If this adjustment period seems to take longer or be more difficult than it should, don’t be afraid to change your plans. As you and your employees stay flexible and are willing to work together, you should be able to successfully transition and reap the benefits of working together in the same place.
For more information on how you can help your employees succeed, contact Grow Team.