How can businesses inspire employees back into the office and overcome The Great Resignation?

back-to-office

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work forever. Australians learnt to adapt and work from home, and now workplaces must change with the times to inspire teams to collaborate and return to the office once again.

As parts of the country begin to open up, many workers are facing exhaustion and burnout, with a discussion about ‘The Great Resignation’ flooding the media. Workplaces must now look at how they can change to create a space where employees want to be, one that prioritises wellbeing and social activities.

Our research of more than 9000 employees found that successful workplaces must champion leadership and culture, agility and technology, wellness, and performance. Therefore, businesses should not focus on The Great Resignation, but instead on how they can optimise their employee’s experience of wellness and performance to retain their staff.

To inspire employees back into the office, businesses should be thinking ‘what can we give our employees that they’re not getting at home?’. The workplace is now much more than a physical place, it’s a hub of social and collaborative activities that make staff feel ‘heard’ and ‘seen’ within their team. Creating an environment that does this can drive productivity, morale, and a sense of connectedness — all key ingredients to a successful business.

Through our findings and experience, we have devised our top tips for businesses as they invite their employees back into the office:

Ask yourself, why do we want people back into the office?

Consider whether there are genuine, meaningful reasons that you want employees back into the office, such as improved collaboration or team brainstorming, increased social connection and engagement.

Our research tells us that 80% of people will want to work from the office for around three days a week. This means that the post-pandemic workplace will be less about ‘command and control’ and more about creating an experience of work that is empowering and social for individuals.

Social and wellness activities will be key in enticing your people back into the workplace, this could include team lunches, birthday celebrations, work anniversaries and cultural food days. Likewise, in-person wellness sessions are effective ways to increase morale and create a sense of connectedness.

Our experience has shown it’s not until people physically return to the office to see their colleagues face to face and resume workplace culture that they realise what they’ve been missing. 

What does our office provide and how do we support our employees?

From home, office, and client spaces, how will you ensure that your business brings the right teams together at the right time? We have found that the best way to support people to design their own experience of work is to ask them.

However, we know that many organisations’ staff are ‘surveyed out’, so creating engaging and interactive workshops can help to capture the sentiment of the team.

In addition, we have identified that people want to come to the office to collaborate and socialise with their colleagues over completing focused work, which can be done at home. This can mean planning out your space to create a more shared, social, and collaborative environment.

What does our leadership look like?

Leadership is about understanding people’s needs, and when it comes to navigating the return to office, you can do this through engaging workshops where employees feel heard.

The new style of leadership in the post-pandemic workplace will be about getting the hybrid blend right, allowing employees to create their experience of work. As many of us learnt throughout 2021, you won’t get the hybrid blend perfect straight away so there is the opportunity for everyone across the organisation to learn from one another.

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Sarah
Sarah
6 days ago

Forcing workers to return to the office is certainly a sure-fire way to speed up the Great Resignation!

Our research tells us that 80% of people will want to work from the office for around three days a week.”

Sorry, what research is this? How big was the sample size? What questions were asked? I work for one of the largest employers in the country and know exactly ZERO people amongst us who want to work in the office more than once or twice a week on a regular basis. Most want to come in once or twice a month at most.

There is also a potentially deadly global pandemic happening, which has people fearing for the lives and health of both their loved ones and themselves.