With the initiation of Covid vaccination processes across the globe, many business organizations have decided to reopen. If you have also taken the same decision, you must understand that the back-to-office transition may not be easy for your employees. No doubt, while the number of active Covid patients has started declining in various parts of the globe, the threat of catching the infection has not ceased to exist. As a result, your workforce may still feel uncomfortable coming back to the office. Moreover, long periods of staying at home while remote working might have made them prey to social anxiety.
Such challenges can make the back-to-office transition difficult for them. There are some simple ways through which diligent employers like you can help your employees make a smooth back-to-office transition. Let’s proceed:
Six ways to help your employees make a smooth back-to-office transition:
- Implement the best Covid safety measures in your company:
The threat of catching Covid infection is one of the biggest reasons why your employees may feel uncomfortable while coming back to the office. You can help them feel a little better by implementing the best Covid safety measures in your company. If your employees know that you are doing the best to protect them against infection, they’ll feel more at ease working in the office. Now, here are some essential Covid safety measures which you can implement in your organization:
- Conducting temperature checks for everyone at the office entry
- Prohibiting entry into the organization without a face mask
- Ensuring regular sanitization of frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, switches, and cupboards.
- Installing sanitizer dispensers at various places within the company
- Making sitting arrangements by the norms of social distancing
- Try to follow a blend of remote working and office working during the initial phase of transition:
This is one of the most effective ways to make the back-to-office transition simpler for your workforce. It involves using a blend of remote working and office working during the initial phase of transition. For example, in the beginning, you can call your employees to the office only on alternate days of the week and let them work from home for the rest of the days. This will help them gradually get adjusted to the office environment. Then, after some time as and when you feel that your workforce is ready to undergo a complete transition to the office working mode, you can go for it.
- Make fun a part of the work schedule:
As discussed above, the threat of catching the infection may make your employees feel uneasy while working in the office. Under such circumstances, you can make them feel a little comfortable by indulging them in fun activities. As they get engaged in having fun, their mind will get rid of stress, anxiety, and worries for some time, and they’ll begin to feel a little more relaxed. If you continue engaging them in fun activities daily, they’ll slowly get adjusted to the office environment again. So, you can make the back-to-office transition smoother for your workforce by making fun a part of the work schedule.
- Help your employees manage stress and anxiety:
Even if you do your best to make your employees feel safe in the office, they’ll still be a little stressed and anxious because of the pandemic. Under such circumstances, you can make them feel a little at ease by helping them manage their stress and anxiety. For this, you can implement the following simple yet effective stress management practices in your company:
- Conducting a short meditation session every day: Many scientific studies have shown that meditation offers immense benefits in terms of stress management. When we meditate, our mind enters a state of tranquility, and our stress level gradually decreases. With the regular practice of meditation, we can also develop a strong resilience against stress and anxiety. So, you should try to conduct a short meditation session in your company every day. You can use guided meditation videos for this purpose.
- Devoting some time to physical activities like exercise and dancing: Physical activities are immensely beneficial for stress reduction. They stimulate the brain to secrete endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects and act as natural painkillers. This implies that you can help your employees feel useful by introducing physical activities like dancing and exercise as a part of the work schedule. Practicing these activities for as little as 10 minutes is also extremely beneficial for stress reduction.
- Offering counseling services to your employees: Various studies have highlighted that the pandemic is having a substantial adverse impact on our mental well-being. Those who are highly sensitive are the worst affected. Prolonged feelings of fearfulness and anxiety can even make them fall prey to mental health disorders like depression. This can be prevented if they can receive timely counseling and share their feelings with counselors. So, if you can, you should try to offer free counseling services to your employees.
- Derive employee feedback:
As your employees make the considerable transition back to the office, you should make it a point to derive regular feedback from them. This will help you find and resolve any existing issues which your workforce is feeling bothered by. In the feedback forms, you can ask questions regarding their satisfaction with the Covid safety measures being implemented in the company and other arrangements. Then, you can analyze the feedback forms and make any suitable amendments or additions in the safety arrangements, if required.
Your employees will require immense support from your side to make a smooth back-to-office transition amidst the ongoing pandemic. The different ways mentioned above will help you offer the desired support to them. All the very best, and may you all stay safe and healthy!
By Jessica Robinson
About the author: Jessica Robinson is an epitome of creativity. She has dedicated her life to educational writing and works for ‘The Speaking Polymath’. She has been creating magic with her powerful words for over a decade.