How to Transition Remote Employees Back to the Office

For many of us, the time is right to transition staff from a remote work environment back to an office. How can employers ease this transition? We have some great tips that may help.

How to Help Your Employees Come Back to an Office 

For at-home workers, it may be a little jarring to come back to the chaos of an office. They may have gotten used to wearing sweats all day or other at-home comforts that an office simply doesn’t have. Employers can help ease this transition with small changes to the office that make it feel more like home. For example, bringing in some plants to make the space more comfortable, or adding a coffee, tea, or snack station, may help your employees experience some home-like comforts while being in the office. Talk with your teams. If they’re having trouble readjusting, consider offering noise-canceling headphones to help keep them focused.

For the past year, we’ve told workers to stick to their office routines while at home to make them feel more comfortable with the change of scenery. The same holds true as they’re coming back to the office. Try to build a culture that supports the work-from-home routine your employee established. For example, did they have quiet time over breakfast where they checked emails? Is there a way to recreate that in your office? While people will be excited to be back and naturally want to talk to each other, is it a good idea to support some meeting-free time every day where everyone respects those uninterrupted blocks of time?

Transparency is Key

Be transparent in your approach to helping with back-to-office transitions. Let’s face it—we are all trying new things right now, so it’s okay for your employees to know that you are working together to get things right. You don’t have all the answers because no one does, really. So, talk with your teams candidly about what you can and can’t do to try to help. Communicate frequently the things you’re doing to ease this transition, and your employees will feel more comforted. This has the added benefit of keeping everyone on the same page during another round of challenges.

It’s going to be hard for some people to move from a quiet, controlled, one-person space to a busy, active, bustling office. As the employer, recognize that there may be a drop in productivity for a few weeks as people try to readjust to this new/old environment. Virtual environments lack some of the office distractions of side conversations. Employers can coach their management teams in ways to support their workers during this time. Perhaps teams need to honor a few hours of quiet right after lunch or in the mornings. Maybe teams will want to take walks at lunch to get away from the office noises and stress. Each team will likely be different, so you, as the employer, should remain as flexible as possible to give your workers the support they need to succeed.

Call Us Today to See How We Can Help You

It’s been a year of transitions and challenges. As we get back to our offices, know that ADD STAFF is here to provide you with a workforce that is ready, willing, and able to roll with the changes. Contact us to meet your hiring goals.