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4 Ways to Ease Employees Coming Back to the Office

Back to Office

With vaccines for COVID-19 becoming more readily available to the public, businesses and workplaces are reopening their doors to welcome back their teams to the office. However, this transition can be difficult for employees as they have used the past year to adapt to a work-from-home lifestyle. According to Pew Research Center, 54% of employees would want to continue working from home after the COVID-19 outbreak ends due to concerns about exposure to the virus in the workplace, increased familial responsibilities, and preference.

For businesses to create a smooth transition to in-person work settings, employers should be patient and ease their employees to come back into the office. Below are several safe strategies to help your office welcome its employees back to the office.

Create Transparent Communication

The first step to welcoming people back to the office is to establish a positive and transparent sense of communication. In doing so, businesses should communicate clearly and properly their back-to-work roll-out plan. Employers should address new training protocols as employees ease into their office routine. This could be about expectations in the workplace, safety protocols, new policies, and changes in office routines. As you discuss these important changes, it is a good time to get the opinions of your team for them to feel appreciated and important as they come back to work.

Remember to be open to private consultations if necessary. Every employee will have different needs when returning to in-person work. Some employees will have more concerns regarding coming back to the office than others. To address this, talk with each individual about what they need and how you can manage their concerns. Let them know what you need, and reassure everyone they won’t face the consequences if they have any concerns. Communicating openly and transparently will create a healthy back-to-work environment for both you and your team.

Establish Safety Protocols

Another way to ease employees back to work is to ensure that your team feels safe and comfortable in the office through proper safety protocols and precautions. Although social distancing and facial coverings are no longer required, there are protocols that employers can put into place as businesses transition from remote working to in-person to ease employee apprehensions and promote safety. These protocols include establishing a new seating plan where chairs, furniture, workstations, and other features are at least six feet apart, checking the HVAC system in your office to see that it works and that clean air can flow through the building, regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and limiting how many people can be on the stairs or in an elevator at once.

In addition to establishing new safety protocols, businesses should think about creating a more contactless work environment to keep their employees safe. This includes leveraging new types of touchless technologies, such as automatic trash cans, faucets, and doors to reduce contact in high-touch areas. It may also be a good idea to shift control of the workplace environment from shared to personal devices. This allows employees to access shared files and documents without having to share devices.

Enhance Your Break Room

Businesses can ease back-to-work tensions by creating a space wherein employees will appreciate and want to come back. For example, the breakroom is the perfect place for your team to relax and recharge. Consider redesigning your breakrooms to become an inviting area that promotes reconnection and relaxation. Think about preparing multiple seating options where people can get together and relax, adding storage spaces for foods and other items, and offering high-quality coffee and beverages.

To enhance safety in the breakroom, think about utilizing coffee equipment, such as bean-to-cup machines, hot powder machines, and single-serve machines, that limit person-to-person contact. Provide single serve coffee pods in the break room so that employees can enjoy their cup of coffee at their convenience without having to constantly worry about who has touched the coffee. Additionally, employers should think about creating more coffee stations throughout the office so that there is less traffic between use. Keep in mind to make sure that you have cleaning protocols and supplies in place to wipe down your equipment throughout the day. By providing your team with enhanced contactless options in the breakroom, you can help ease stress and tensions.

Craft A Back-To-Work Pack

Both employers and employees have experienced multiple changes and shifts within their roles at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. From changes in policies to adjustments in routines, your team has been through a lot. After a long time away from the office, businesses can ease the back-to-work transition by showing their employees how much they appreciate them. This act can be shown as simply as crafting a back-to-work snack pack for your workers, which will create a welcoming atmosphere for your team as you transition your employees back into the office.

Your back-to-work pack can include both necessities and treats. Some things to include are hand sanitizers, face masks, and portion-packed snacks, teas, and coffees. Providing your team with seemingly simple things like coffee can actually play an essential role in boosting employee morale. By giving your employees a back-to-work pack with care items and individually wrapped treats, you will not only be able to show them how much you appreciate them but also that you prioritize their health and safety.

Key Takeaways

As businesses start to reopen, it is essential to embrace and adapt to changes brought about in a post-COVID world. Businesses that can safely and effectively transition to in-person work will be able to create a positive and healthy work environment that builds confidence and reassurance within your team.

Gaviña Coffee Solutions strives to be the best office coffee partner by ensuring that businesses have the right brands and products that meet the needs of their team. From airpots to branded cups, your business can choose from a wide array of equipment recommendations to enhance your break room and inspire team morale. Contact us today for more information.

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