Going Back to the Office: 3 Tips for Employers

This is a free excerpt from one of Shortform’s Articles. We give you all the important information you need to know about current events and more.

Don't miss out on the whole story. Sign up for a free trial here .

How can employers help with workers going back to the office? What are the best tips for easing the transition?

As the pandemic draws to a close, businesses are eager to bring employees back into the office. Most employers recognize, however, that hybrid models are likely here to stay in some capacity.

Read on for three practical tips for employers facing a transition period as workers begin going back to the office.

Going Back to the Office the Right Way

As pandemic restrictions wane, managers are eager to bring employees back to the office. However, workers have different expectations of going back to the office and schedule flexibility. Most companies acknowledge that things won’t fully return to pre-pandemic structures. IBM anticipates 80% of its staff will adopt a hybrid model, and Google anticipates 60% will go hybrid, 20% fully remote, and 20% fully in-person. 

Companies that can meet employees’ new priorities will be better able to attract and retain talent, and there’s no shortage of advice for how businesses can do this. Here’s a look at the top tips so far on the best ways to introduce going back to the office for (at least some) employees.

Tip #1: Start With Safety

Despite the availability of vaccines, two-thirds of employees report feeling worried about their health as they go back to the office, and fear of Covid-19 is often cited as a factor still keeping some potential workers on the sidelines.

Prioritizing safety is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing: Studies show companies that emphasize workplace safety have better employee retention and outperform the S&P 500 by between 3% and 5%.

With safety in mind, some companies may try to require vaccinations as workers begin going back to the office. However, others may be hesitant to do so because of potential legal problems. (How would you collect information on vaccinations without violating privacy laws, and what happens if an employee has a bad reaction to a vaccine you mandated?)

Therefore, employers should assume some of their workforce will remain unvaccinated, and should provide sanitized workspaces that reduce the risk of contagion as much as possible. This may mean reorganizing open-plan spaces or upgrading ventilation. 

Tip #2: Discourage Vaccine Discrimination

You’ll also want to prevent your workforce from devolving into one where the vaccinated and unvaccinated feel at odds with each other. A staff where certain people are excluded from work lunches, conversations, or projects because they’ve either gotten the shot or haven’t will destroy your corporate culture as your workers go back to the office.

You can’t ban all vaccination talk (employees will naturally discuss major events like this), but be clear about what conversations are acceptable and discourage people from prying into other workers’ statuses or questioning their choices.   

Tip #3: Anticipate an Adjustment Period

Many workers may be eager to go back to the office if only to escape the increased loneliness and decreased energy that can accompany working from home. Junior employees may be especially eager, as they greatly benefit from in-person engagement at the start of their careers. But, employers should anticipate an adjustment period as workers re-acclimate to office life, and should do what they can to make them feel prioritized and valued during the transition.

Going Back to the Office: 3 Tips for Employers

Want to fast-track your learning? With Shortform, you’ll gain insights you won't find anywhere else .

Here's what you’ll get when you sign up for Shortform :

  • Complicated ideas explained in simple and concise ways
  • Smart analysis that connects what you’re reading to other key concepts
  • Writing with zero fluff because we know how important your time is

Emily Kitazawa

Emily found her love of reading and writing at a young age, learning to enjoy these activities thanks to being taught them by her mom—Goodnight Moon will forever be a favorite. As a young adult, Emily graduated with her English degree, specializing in Creative Writing and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), from the University of Central Florida. She later earned her master’s degree in Higher Education from Pennsylvania State University. Emily loves reading fiction, especially modern Japanese, historical, crime, and philosophical fiction. Her personal writing is inspired by observations of people and nature.

One thought on “Going Back to the Office: 3 Tips for Employers

  • May 18, 2023 at 2:04 am

    Great tip, this blog is helpful. Sometimes when we hear about transition sounds scary yet exciting and challenging, getting used to be at home for a long time is hard.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.