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Member Benefit

Returning to Office Life: How to Sweeten the Deal

Published Mon Apr 12 2021

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As the world inches closer to going back to normal, employers are grappling with which organizational and business continuity changes were temporarily born of necessity and which are going to be sticking around long after the pandemic is a memory. At the forefront of nearly everyone’s minds, though, is the tension between workers’ desire to remain remote and leadership’s intention to bring them back to traditional office spaces. This is something that the C-suite needs to take seriously too. According to a recent study, one-third of respondents said they’d start looking for a new job if their employer required them to return to an office, and there are plenty of organizations willing to oblige this worker wish. There are some tactics to consider, though, if you want employees to return to the office and not immediately look for the door. The first is flexibility. Giving employees the ability to set their own hours will make the return to a traditional office far more palatable. Additionally, where possible, you should allow for individual, personal office space. For a year now, many employees have been working in private home offices, so the return to a cubicle will not be an appealing prospect. Also, consider commute reimbursements and relaxed dress codes. “Regardless of timing, companies should take a measured and carefully planned office re-entry approach and keep employees’ health and safety top of mind,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half said. “Leaders should also use the opportunity to solicit staff feedback to shape corporate culture for the future.”

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