5 Ways To Encourage Employees Back To The Office
The pandemic is gradually becoming something that we’re starting to get used to living with.
Many of us are beginning to return to our activities of the past and carry on with life without fear or worry.
However, there are lots of employees who are still hesitant to head back to work in the office, and in some cases, just don’t want to.
Working at home has been convenient for lots of employees but in some instances, working in the office is more beneficial for the team and the company.
So here are 5 tips to help you implement strategies to encourage your teams and colleagues back to the office.
Flexible Working Hours
Working from home has allowed many employees flexibility they have never had before. The benefits of this flexibility can be simple things like putting the washing on, preparing dinner, taking the kids to school, tidying up, and more.
Not travelling to work gives employees extra time to get things done.
If life is easier working from home, what can you do to help employees see the benefits of working in the office?
Flexible working helps employees to balance their home and work responsibilities.
Letting employees start later if they need to take children to school, or can’t seem to wake up on time, or have other family commitments is a great way to offer flexible working.
Flexible working is one small step to encouraging staff back to work in the office and has so many benefits to both employer and employee, including:
- Promoting healthy work-life balance
- Attracting and retaining talent
- Increasing job satisfaction
- Reducing employee absence
- Saving on overheads
- Reducing employee stress
- Increasing productivity
- And more!
Allowing flexible working is just one of the ways companies can encourage employees back to the office.
Highlight Safety Policies
The effects of the pandemic still causes some individuals to feel worried and anxious, and employers need to understand this.
Having a clear safety policy helps employees to build confidence about returning back to the office.
The safety policy should outline steps taken to keep everyone safe and comfortable while working on-site and one example of this is the use of a traffic light system.
Employees wear red, yellow or green wrist bands to show how comfortable they are interacting with people in the office.
Those who aren’t comfortable, wear the red wrist band. Meaning employees keep their distance when talking to them and help them to feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
This is just one example and you can find more info on writing a health and safety policy here.
Who doesn’t love a massage?
On-site massage has been shown to have many benefits when it comes to employee health and is a great way to encourage staff back into the office.
Having a massage booked gives employees something to look forward to, and is a great way to provide a short break from work, leaving staff feeling revitalised, relaxed, and with less stress.
Some of the benefits of on-site massage include:
- Reduced stress
- Improved mood
- Reduction in tight muscles
- Decreased muscular pain
- Relaxing the body and mind
- Improving circulation
- Showing staff you care
- And more!
Companies that provide additional perks are more likely to encourage employees back to the office and for more information on massage in the workplace, check out our page on workplace massage.
Over the course of the pandemic, there have been a lack of social events and many of us have been cooped up in our house with little or no interaction.
A lot of us have forgotten how fun and rewarding interacting with other people can be and social events give us an additional reason to come into work.
If we know that there are work drinks at the end of the day, or there is a work games evening, or some kind of work event, this can encourage employees to work in the office that day.
Social events can help employees to bond with each other, create friendships, connect departments, inspire positivity, and improve employee happiness.
In fact, the Guardian has an article on how social events are vital to happiness at work.
If you’re struggling for ideas, then check out this article on “10 Social events” at work.
Free Food and Coffee
With the rise in the cost of living, there has never been a better time to provide ways that your employees can save money.
With inflation predicted to peak at 9% in 2022, employers need to be doing the best they can to support employees.
Travelling into the office will often cause an additional cost for employees and if they’re paying for food at work, then there is less incentive to work from the office.
Providing free food for employees on site can help to encourage staff back to the office in many ways, including:
- Saving employees money
It’s very simple, if staff don’t have to pay for lunch, they save money. This can be a great incentive to come back to the office
- Convenient for employees
Some employees will plan their lunches and spend their valuable time organising packed lunch for their working day.
If free food is provided, this is one less responsibility for employees to worry about.
- Encouraging employee bonding
If colleagues are meeting up in the staff canteen it gives them opportunities to bond and build relationships. In some cases, employees who bring food from home just eat at their desks.
Providing free food at work encourages employees to get away from their desk to eat their lunch.
This provides additional incentive to return back to working in the office.
If your company are predominately still working from home, check out our wellbeing webinars which are a fantastic way to help support the health and wellbeing of employees.
Tyler Lowe – Health & Wellbeing Speaker
BSc Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation