Return to Office': Return in phases

As lockdown orders are lifted, companies are pivoting to work on the return to office of their employees but without giving them a wave of shock. When the lockdown was announced last year, gradually employees got into this habit of working from home. Change is never easy, yet it is inevitable. Work from Home was never easy, and now this return to office has its own hiccups and set of challenges. 

The biggest question to ponder and answer is how well your employees will take this return. Hence, it is imperative to share the news to employees In a more compassionate manner and allow them to choose work from home and work from office for a while, until they become complacent with the return. That’s the whole reasoning and purpose, that I persuade my client to introspect and make the return in waves. Wave-1, Wave-2, Wave-3, Wave-4 as per the department and as per the business requirement. It is true that the majority of employees have lost the sense of being the “part” of the organisation. Hence, communicating the why and how of return to office is the most fundamental concept in your employee safe return to office without creating controversies. 

It is a cultural shock to many employees that when they are ready to work from home, companies will have to ask employees to come back to the office after mass vaccination. HR’s have to embrace themself to various emotional responses and reactions as soon as they will break the news, so let us smoothen your experience by preparing you for those possible ramifications. 

Leaders are sharpening their skills of handling emotions. Prepare a phase wise return and be ready for changes if local rules and regulations change. Hence, HR have to prepare the return to office in phases, however given the intensity of future changes that might be caused due to virus behaviour, the return to office will take various forms and shapes. HR’s have to create waves of returns to ensure safety procedures are given the top priority. 

The return to office waves have to depend on departments but it can never be based on the fact that few employees want to return just because they are “sick” of work from home. Businesses need to bring in technology tools that support the “hybrid” work model and ensure that human hands are not touched frequently in common areas. Global Health and Safety Standards will have to be the focus in preparing the return to offices with technology tools that restruce the post pandemic digital workplace.



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