May 28, 2021 12:29 PM EDT
With most states lifting restrictions on capacity and office work, more and more employers want to open things back up and get people back to work. While the pandemic didn't cause every business to fully close down, some had to operate with a skeleton crew just to get by. With things opening up, it means businesses can increase their staff again and get back in the office. If you want to encourage more people to return to work, here are some of the ways you can do it.
Keep Things Clean
While this may seem obvious, people are more aware of office cleanliness than ever before. It's important to clean the office daily so that people can feel confident coming back in. Tell your staff all about your cleaning policy, expectations of individuals to keep their workstations clean and more. Since cleaning was one of the many ways that essential businesses were able to reduce the spread of infection, it only makes sense to incorporate some of those practices into your business.
Offer Flexible Work Options
Maybe pre-pandemic you were completely against letting staff work from home. After a year of only being able to work from home, however, you are starting to change your tune. Maybe it's time to change those policies. Flexible work options going forward are one of the ways you can help people return to work in 2021.
While you may need them in the office sometimes, you may not need them there all the time. In-person meetings are great for collaboration, connection, and more. Being in the office can help facilitate impromptu opportunities to be creative and work well as a team. However, when people are not feeling well and need to stay home, or they need to care for sick children, flexible work arrangements can help them complete the work. Some people love working from home and thrive without the constant interruptions.
Expand IT Services
To facilitate more people working from home, it only makes sense to expand your IT team. IT staff help people navigate tricky technology problems that occur when you're at home and can keep everyone connected when working remotely. Having a solid IT presence helps employees feel confident to work from wherever you'll let them. They know there will always be someone to answer their questions and help them through tech challenges.
Improve HR Policies
Your sick policies could be a problem. If you want people to return to work post-pandemic, make it easier for them to call in sick to care for themselves or a family member without them fearing loss of their jobs. HR policies that punish people for taking sick days could make it harder for people to want to return to the building to work. It's easier to allow staff to work from home if they're not feeling well than to keep hiring new people to fill the gap. Plus, you don't want people who are sick sharing their germs with the rest of the staff.
Simplify the Hiring Process
Have you ever been through a 15-step hiring process? It can be brutal. If you want more people to come back to work for your company, streamline the process. Instead of having individual steps for background checks, credit checks, and job testing, combine as many things into one step as possible. No one wants to be dragged along for weeks only to find out they didn't get the job. Also, make sure you communicate as soon as possible to the people you want to move forward and the ones that didn't make the cut. This gives them time to start looking at more options.
Offer Fun Benefits and Perks
One of the things that made it fun to go to an office to work were the fun perks. Maybe you can't have huge company gatherings anymore, but you can get together with smaller groups of team members. Maybe you can still have foosball and beer Fridays, but you need to re-think how it all looks. If you want to get people back to work. Don't forget to find ways to offer incentives and perks that make it exciting to work in an office. Post-pandemic it's still important to consider these things when creating your work environment.
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