With a recent article on bloomberg.com showing that people are incredibly anxious about returning to work, every employer is no doubt wondering how they can make returning to the office as safe as possible, but also how they can keep their employees happy. The working environment in a post-pandemic world is not going to be easy to achieve, but what are the things that we all need to consider?
The Notion of Space
Everybody has had their sense of intimacy removed from life. A lot of people are concerned about going back to the office, and even something as simple as brushing shoulders with someone by accident could cause a whole heap of anxiety, which means you’ve got to be prepared for people to keep their distance for a long time. The best way to do this is to incorporate floor markings. Providers like ifloortape.com offer many different types of floor stickers and signs to make sure that everybody is reminded to keep their distance. Some people didn’t like being too close to others before the pandemic, and now, this has got to be a real concern when everyone starts coming back.
Being Aware of the “New Normal”
This is about venturing into the unknown, which means that your employees are going to have many questions that you will need to answer. Therefore, open and frequent communication will help to instigate meaningful conversations. By having these conversations, you are going to build better relationships. Everybody needs to understand what is being asked of them but they also need support. You’ve got to remember collaboration is going to be an essential part of the new normal, but not purely because of high-performance levels, but it’s about making the organization effective, which means having to adapt to a new normal, but a normal that will help the employees to not feel overwhelmed.
Dealing With Raw Emotion
Employees have been feeling isolated, doubtful, and fearful. The organization needs to normalize these feelings, but also address any anxieties employees face. It is partly down to employees to return to work with a positive attitude, but it is your responsibility to make sure that their feelings are managed effectively. You may want to make more time for conversations with the team or provide more one-to-ones, as well as providing more flexibility around returning to work. When you start to engage these different areas, you can address any concerns your team may have. The goal is to bring your employees back to work confidently so they can contribute to business success.
Improving the Attitudes Towards Performance Goals
As tempting as it is to get them to work hard to make up for lost time, it’s important for employees to understand why they are working towards different goals. It’s also important for you to understand why the business is looking to move in a different direction, as this will help your employees connect with their purpose, and recognize the bigger picture. There are a number of challenges that we will all face, not least making sure the office is safe, but there is a lot more than this to consider.