What Will it Take for Employees to WANT to Come Back to the Office?

AdobeStock_305810750While there are many mixed feelings around returning to the office, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the pandemic has permanently changed how we work.

While the transition wasn’t always easy, remote work has generally been an enormous success. Many companies have found new and creative ways to thrive, even with some or all of their employees logging in from their laptops remotely.

But now that many companies are returning to the office, whether it be remote or hybrid, employers realize that it’s time to drastically re-think how we work and structure our time in the office.

While many employees do not want to come back to the office full time, a survey by Slack found that 72% of workers prefer a hybrid-working model, while only 13% prefer working remotely full time.

Why Do People Want to Go Back to the Office?

Not everybody wants to work in the office again, but, as mentioned above, many people do. So what is it that is drawing them back? The answer is more complex than free meals and dry cleaning.

In a study by Glassdoor, researchers asked people who were “enthusiastic” about returning to the office why they felt so excited about the prospect of getting back to work in person. Another study by Pew Research center spoke with people who could work remotely but chose to go into work anyway and asked them for their reasons. Here are some of the most common answers:

  • Many people feel more productive at work.
  • Others claimed they didn’t have the proper resources needed for their job at home.
  • Many people also hoped to socialize with coworkers in the office.
  • Workers also pointed out that they find in-person work collaboration to be beneficial.

What can we glean from these answers? If we hope our employees honestly want to return to the office, then they should feel that the office is a more productive place. It should have more technological resources that allow them to socialize with their coworkers and is primed for group collaboration.

With that in mind, here are some office upgrades to help your employees want to go to the office.

Foster Office Camaraderie

According to a survey by Slack, some of the top challenges that workers find working from home are “maintaining and building working relationships with colleagues” and “feelings of loneliness and isolation.”Many people experienced prolonged loneliness during the pandemic, and missing out on relationships with our coworkers played a role in causing that isolation.

This is especially true for people new to the workforce or new to a specific job who may feel they’ve never had a chance to integrate correctly into the office social groups.

Remember that the office isn’t all about quiet, productive time if you are an employer. One of the most significant reasons that your employees show up for the work day could be that they want to share that day with the company of people they like. Perhaps you could also organize social activities to facilitate the friend-making process on your team. 

Better Client Meetings

When a client logs into a video call and sees you and your team sitting in an office in a nicely designed hybrid conference room, it gives your business much credibility and helps your clients (and potential clients!) feel valued. If your client calls from their office, they’ll likely be pleased to see that your company is in a position to do the same thing.

Also, being in person allows you to invite clients to your office and host them, even if it’s only once or a few times, contributing even more to your relationship with that client.

Cut Down on Video Chat Fatigue

It’s not just you! According to Stanford, certain aspects of video calls can exhaust the human mind and body. But the same coworkers, when placed together in an office, can collaborate seamlessly and openly, completing projects more quickly and affordably.

That’s not to say that video calls should be avoided, but rather point out that an entire day of video chatting can wear you out in a way that being in the office or being a hybrid doesn’t. Fortunately, a simple solution to “Zoom fatigue” (as it’s often called) is to adopt a hybrid model that allows you to clock in via video chat on some days and in person on others. 

Technological Solutions to improve your meetings 

  • Automation - Reserve your meeting remotely from any device before your appointment.
  • Audio-Ceiling, tabletop mics, and speakers - Improves the quality of group meetings.
    Acoustical treatments -  Improves the sound quality of each room.
  • Displays- Video Walls with the ability to create any size production for any environment. This makes it easier to collaborate with multiple images allowing for screen equity and the sharing of ideas.

Conclusion

How we work is changing, which is no problem if we change along with it. Your employees are okay with returning to the office, but they want to see viable reasons that justify the commute- things they can’t get working remotely.

So to transform how your team works, collaborates, and succeeds, get in touch with AV Planners. We have proven success in enhancing office spaces through technology. After updating your office, your employees will find a new world of reasons to enjoy working in person. Keep up with the latest news on our blog.

 

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