What Will It Take To Get Employees to Return to the Office?


One of the success stories of the pandemic has been the adoption of remote work. A recent study revealed that 83% of employers say remote work has been successful. It might have taken a bit of practice to balance remote work with household chores, homeschooling children, binge-watching television shows and keeping up with daily projects, but many companies survived (and dare we say thrived) during the pandemic because of their remote-work initiatives. 

Getting employees to return to the office will have its own challenges, though. As we slowly begin to return to normalcy in our daily lives, we’ll be leaving our kitchen-table offices and returning to a space with other like-minded professionals. Many of us are asking, “Why should we return to the office?” Or, if you’re a company trying to get employees to return, “What will it take to get employees to return to the office?” We’re going to let you in on a few secrets: 

  • Start with safety. The number-one issue that has to be addressed before employees return to the office is safety. It’s a good idea to communicate policies, changes and expectations as they relate to safety. Consider conducting a survey before announcing a return to the office to gauge the concerns, and level of each concern, among employees. 
  • Promote work-life balance. For many individuals now working from home, work-life balance has been tossed out the window. Returning to the office is an opportunity to distance home life from work life, which is something many employees are yearning for. However, employees may now have new benefit needs, ranging from mental health support to caregiver assistance. 
  • Eliminate Zoom fatigue. Yes, it’s a real thing. An excessive amount of close-up eye content is highly intense and a leading cause of Zoom fatigue. Plus, video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility. While video conferencing is still critical, returning to the office will create an opportunity to reduce the time spent on Zoom, replaced by in-person collaboration. 
  • Create new environments. Increase the excitement of returning to the office by creating a space that people want to return to. This could mean making changes to the physical space, like embracing outdoor meeting spaces, or accommodating wellness trends, like standing desks. 
  • Promote well-designed technology. Offices are designed to be spaces for collaboration, focus and productivity. Unlike many home offices, a corporate office is equipped with the latest audio, video and networking.
  • Boast office camaraderie. Can you remember the last time you met up with colleagues to watch your local sports team play? Or took your after-work brainstorming to the patio for a beer? Employees are craving the opportunity to reunite with coworkers to fuel their creativity and brainstorming. 

While returning to the office might look different to each of us, we should embrace the opportunity to work in a quiet, dedicated environment, to collaborate with our coworkers, and to leave the stress of the office behind once we start our commutes home. 

If you’re looking to transform the way your team can work, collaborate and succeed, AV Planners has proven success enhancing corporate office spaces through technology. Contact AV Planners to learn more about our services. Keep up with the latest news from AV Planners on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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