Returning the Team to the Office After COVID – Tips for Business Owners
The COVID-19 Pandemic has drastically changed how we think about home life and work life. As the world emerges on the other side of the pandemic, business owners will be in a unique position to help determine what business will look like in the future. It is already clear that businesses will never return to their exact pre-COVID norms.
After a year or longer of working from home, there will inevitably be some employee resistance returning to the office. Many employees have found they have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home. Unfortunately, providing this flexibility has proven to be a strain on businesses. Managers have had more difficulty coordinating their teams because virtual workspaces do not offer the opportunities for creative collaboration that in-person offices do.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to transitioning back to in-person work. Different decisions will work best for different companies. Business owners should not feel pressured to offer indefinite virtual work just because companies like Facebook and Google have done so. For those companies, the move to permanent virtual work makes sense because they stand to benefit from increased virtual work. The nature of an individual business should be the most significant factor in determining when and how to transition back to work.
Surveys have been conducted which show that employees are happy with remote work options but managers are not. Although employee input is valued, Businesses should give the managers more weight because in order to be productive, managers need to have coherent teams. Businesses should consider these kinds of surveys but also understand that they are the result of more than a year of virtual work. Because opinions may change with time, businesses need to remain open to making further adjustments.
Businesses should wait to set forth an official policy until they absolutely must. It is better to take some time to create a policy than acting quickly and ending up with a popular policy that is ineffective.