How to encourage reluctant staff to return to the office

Since the government advice to work from home was lifted earlier this year and employees have been making their way back into the office, it seems some employees are more enthusiastic than others. How do we encourage our reluctant staff members to return to the office happily, rather than handing in their resignations?

Throughout this article, we will explore the various incentives and business adaptations you can make to encourage your employees to come back to the office:

1) Outline your operational requirements

Many businesses have started adopting a hybrid business model as they combine all the best bits of on-site and remote working! Flexible schedules, greater work-life balance, and fewer expenses are just some of the positives for both employers and their staff!

However, before you can embrace this new business model, you need to hash out the non-negotiable requirements for running your business. For example:

  • The minimum amount of on-site hours per staff member per week.
  • Whether there are any extenuating circumstances that overrule these mandatory hours.
  • Your core office hours.
  • How often your entire team needs to meet in person.
  • What resources your staff will need to work remotely.

2) Speak to your staff

Some employees will be more eager to return to the office than others – that’s just a given. Talking to the more reluctant team members and asking them what they want might give them the encouragement they needed.

By conducting surveys and organising group sessions, you can start finding solutions to satisfy your staff members, improve engagement and protect your retention rates.

3) Offer them incentives

 No one wants to spend their days in a dull, drab office. So it’s your responsibility to make your office an attractive and exciting place to be!

Here are some suggestions to help you spruce up your space and incentivise your employees:

Redecorate your office space – a lick of paint can go a long way.

Provide on-site catering – seriously, save your staff from those stale sandwiches.

Invest in new equipment – try upgrading your dated tech and replacing old furniture.

Offer corporate discounts – predominantly for nearby locations like gyms, coffee shops or food establishments.

4) Accommodate ALL of your employees

When making decisions about your business, it can be easy to focus on the wants and needs of your front runners and management team. The trouble is that this approach is far from inclusive.

It is our priority as business owners to continually promote inclusivity and diversity. So make sure you’re accommodating the needs of ALL your employees – especially those who are underrepresented in professional settings, including people of colour, disabled individuals and women.

The future is flexible!

After two years of working at home, it’s no wonder some staff members are reluctant to give up their home comforts. Instead of demanding that everyone must return to the office, show some compassion by trying to reach a compromise.

Flexible working offers many benefits for both you and your employees – so give it a try! It could be the answer to unlocking a more efficient and engaged team.

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