Knowledge Center / Blog
From Remote to Onsite: Are You Going Back to the Office?
As COVID vaccinations continue to roll out, businesses now face the reality of determining if going back to the office is the right move for them. At some point employees will ask, “Are we going to have to come back to the office?” There are still so many variables and daily changes to the health and safety protocols federal, state, and local agencies are implementing. Here are a few key items to consider:
- Communicate often. Employees will generally fear the unknown. It is important to try and establish regular communications with your employees letting them know what is going on and the plan that will be implemented. Even if some employees may not like the plan, it is beneficial they know ahead of time so you can work on answering questions and addressing concerns.
- Anticipate employee challenges. From childcare plans and schoolwork to regular everyday meetings and morning commutes, going back to the office may mean changing home life dramatically, again. Remote workers have certainly developed habits to get them through the last several months that will not transition easily to onsite work life. Try to identify these and offer to have open dialogue or trouble-shooting sessions with staff or refer them to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you have one.
- Give it time. Many times, employees cannot make dramatic changes on the spot or on short notice. If you know work-life will be changing, try and plan ahead as far as possible and give employees plenty of time to prepare. Also, consider a staggered approach, where a small section of employees experiences the change at a time, thus giving you a greater ability to be hands-on, learn from each transition, and make changes to the plan accordingly.
- Consider additional training and/or policies. Undoubtedly your business will need to revise policies and procedures. Ensure you get ahead of this and update your policies and trainings as part of the transition plan and communicate these changes to employees. Offer webinars, virtual meetings, and any other avenue to get the word out. Consider reinforcing with immediate training when the time is right.
There are many more factors to consider when planning to bring your employees back to the office. Contact The Employer Group if you are looking for assistance in getting started or a helping hand in implementing your plan.