There are many opinion pieces being written and dialogue between Directors and management as how best to bring staff back to the office, be it permanently or even a few days a week. It is a very delicate and trying situation for employers; some businesses have adapted more readily than others to remote working, many are battling to cope operationally. There will never be a one-strategy-fits-all but are some fairly bright individuals at Harvard Business School are currently applying their minds to the challenges. Here are some highlights:
- The importance of managing employees well-being, either in the office or externally at meeting places is verified as new senior managers are emerging with the title ‘Chief Health Office’.
- It is not the employer who will determine the adequacy of workplace safety measures, it will be your staff.
- Signalling the health of your facilities and the systems you have in place is crucial to attracting people back to the office.
- The mindset of most staff can be defined as:
- Because remote working was easier, why do I need to be in the office full-time?
- I do not want to be in the office unless it is safe; a mask, sanitiser and being told to social distance does not make it safe.
- I am used to being tracked, probed and surveyed, what and how is my employer handling their duty of care?
Interesting comments and with no agreed standard on whether an office is healthy or not, employees have the right to feel this way, as do they if they are called upon to meet at external facilities due to new office spacing norms. This all signals the need for employers to adopt new strategies or risk losing employees.
In the comments below, let us know what issues you are facing.