Transitioning back to an office setting after about a year of working from home will feel less like returning to a familiar old routine and more like adjusting to a brand new schedule with challenges of its own. Human Resource Management will have to cater to the needs of old and new employees and equip themselves with the necessary tools and guidance to help make this transition as smooth as possible. With continued uncertainty and fluctuations in working arrangements, a warm welcome back will set the tone for how well the employees are able to re-adapt upon their return. To help ease employees back into office workspaces, whether hybrid or full-time, here are a few pointers to make the whole process a positive experience for them.
1. Welcome Email
Beginning with a welcome back email is a good way to greet employees, check-in on availability, reiterate important company policies and standard health and safety guidelines. The proposed schedule can be shared via this email and this will also open up the floor for any questions and concerns. This email will help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
2. Extra Resources and Workshops
Preparing extra information resources for employees beforehand will make the whole re-adjustment journey a lot smoother. This can be done by putting up bulletin board notices, presentations or meetings or virtual seminars and online resources too. Staying informed will instill confidence and also serve as a memory refresher on important topics such as workplace regulations, COVID guidelines, gender sensitization or mental health awareness.
3. Boosting Morale:
To break the ice and create a sense of community, managers can arrange fun group activities or breaks for mingling (within state guidelines regarding social distancing). With a growing emphasis on employee wellness and healthy work-life balance, this will help the employees to feel more comfortable and valued. Employees should also be encouraged to avail the benefits and allowances that the company is offering such as mental healthcare, leave days or other extra resources.
4. Open communication
Keeping an open line of communication is necessary especially during the initial period of settling in. Encouraging a culture of transparency within the office space and addressing concerns promptly will put employees at ease. Frequent updates and check-ins will serve to foster faith in the company management and create a better environment for old and new recruits alike. Communication and reassurance from the CEOs or those in charge can also make every team member feel valued.
5. Well-defined Schedules
Schedules are the key to maintaining a consistent routine and workflow. It gives employees and employers a framework of the work assigned as well as deadlines. As long as schedules are clearly defined and split into manageable work blocks, employees should have an easy time adjusting back the fixed nature of workplace hours.
6. Being Flexible
While the abrupt shift to working from home and virtual workspaces was jarring for many, returning to office spaces will also be considerably difficult. It’s crucial to maintain a certain degree of flexibility with regards to work assigned, deadlines, working hours or performance expectations. While some companies may begin with a hybrid model- requiring employees to split their time between home and office, others may ask employees to be in office full-time. Government regulations, employee health, and wellness need to be taken into account at this stage, and patience and consideration are vital.
All these measures are simply a way of conveying to your staff just how essential they are. While the past year has been a difficult one, employees and companies will have to rely on each other’s resilience to gradually adapt to what is to come. Employers and Human Resource management teams must plan ahead to address potential bumps in the road if they are to evolve amid the turbulence. Accessibility and connectivity are of paramount importance right now. Here is where new platforms such as Hirect come into the picture. Hirect is a one-stop destination for all employers looking to select from an extensive talent pool from all sectors. With features like the ability to instantly chat with ‘talent’, as well as provide feedback makes it much easier to scout for talent and be confident in your choices as an employer. For candidates seeking jobs the video interview feature, an extensive list of job openings, and assurance of verified companies, are all major pus points. Additionally, the service is completely free and is available as a mobile application, making accessibility and hiring a breeze. You can learn more about Hirect and download the app right here.