Many employees are returning to work after taking time off for family, private, holiday celebrations or just for COVID-related lockdowns. While returning to work can be exciting and refreshing, it can also be a bit daunting for many. They will again have to rush to the office very early in the morning, work under regular supervision from 9am to 5pm and have only limited breaks.
All of this can put pressure on some employees, and as their leader, it is your responsibility to ensure a smooth transition for them. This article provides tips on how to help employees adjust to return to work. It covers issues such as adapting office settings and policies, providing assistance during transition periods, and providing resources to help employees re-energize and feel ready to start their workday. So let’s get started:
Here are 7 practical tips to make employee return as smooth as possible
1. Make the office environment as comfortable as possible:
Creating a conducive environment for employees to return is essential for a smooth transition. Here are some tips that might help:
- First and foremost, create a positive work culture that is reward-oriented and encourages employees to succeed. This will help them to come to the office every day and inspire to be productive.
- Make sure your office space is clean, organized and bright – this will encourage reduced clutter and stress and increase focus.
- Encourage employees to take time off when needed and provide flexible working hours. This will allow them to work in a healthier way and balance their personal lives. Do this for at least the first few weeks so they can adjust their schedule without having to do any personal work during office hours.
- From comfortable chairs to a well-equipped kitchen – provide staff with the resources and tools they need to be productive. This will help them to feel comfortable in the office and make quick adjustments.
2. Help them get acquainted with the office culture
It’s great to be back in the office after a long break, but it can be hard to get back on track. To help them get acquainted with the office culture, have a welcome back party / event. This will help everyone get to know each other again and establish channels of communication between employees and managers.
Be clear about your expectations to make sure everyone knows what kind of performance you need. After all, make sure everyone is enjoying themselves when they return to work!
3. Constructively criticize employees for their performance while working remotely
Working from a distance has its own challenges, and one of them is being too comfortable in their home environment and their productivity is being compromised. Therefore, it is important to provide feedback and criticism to employees when working remotely.
In this way, they understand the areas in which they need to improve and the tools they can use to do so. Let them know that you are available when they need it and help them deal with any challenges when they return to the office.
4. Pay attention to the emotional impact of going back to work
It is understandable that your employees are quite emotional after returning to work after a long break. Here are some practical tips on how you can best support them at this critical juncture:
- Make sure you recognize their return and recognize the hard work they put in to adjust to the return.
- Give them the help they need to get back into their daily routine. It can arrange at least one session with your company or a third party workplace therapist.
- Show genuine appreciation for their hard work and dedication by providing generous benefits and bonuses.
5. Encourage when pausing and decompressing
As a boss, it’s important to make sure your employees have the opportunity to decompress and relax. This will help them avoid burnout, work better and be more productive in the long run. It is also important to make your workplace comfortable and aesthetically pleasing so that employees feel comfortable and do not feel overwhelmed.
In addition, encourage employees to contact you about any issues or concerns they may have. This will help you deal with them quickly and effectively. Help them to balance work / life so that they can come to the office feeling relaxed and motivated without feeling overwhelmed or guilty.
6. Set basic rules for behavior at work and outside
It is important to have clear expectations about behavior, both inside and outside the workplace. That way, everyone can understand the acceptable behavior parameters and know where they stand. Employees can be so comfortable working from home that they can also take the office environment abruptly.
This can lead to a casual dress code, unacceptable behavior, inappropriate jokes with other employees and later important tasks. They may be able to do all this at home with zero supervision. However, for the workplace, you need to set rules to ensure that this does not happen in the office.
7. Encourage team bonding activities
This is one of the best ways to sharpen staff collaboration skills. When employees are away for long periods of time, they may be hesitant to communicate effectively with each other, especially your introverted employees.
Engaging them in team-building activities will help them work together more efficiently and build better teamwork skills. In addition, fun events and activities can create a positive work environment that helps employees quickly adjust to it.
Welcome your employees to a better workplace!
It is always great for employees to return to work after a break, but it is better if the workplace is comfortable and pleasant. Here are some suggestions on how to look or get an appointment for antique items.
From creating a positive work-life balance to creating a healthy workplace culture, these seven practical tips will help your employees feel at home again.