5 ways to encourage a happy return to the office

5 ways to encourage a happy return to the office

While the Government has given the green light for employees to return to working on-site in several states, some workers may be experiencing feelings of uncertainty about this return. So how do you help employees feel safe working in the office? Here’s five recommendations to help you instil a safe and confident return.

Implement a proper safety plan

Implementing a strong COVID-safe plan should be your top priority before bringing employees back. Key things to consider include social distancing measures such as restricting the number of people allowed in lifts, bathrooms, and meeting rooms. Manage the flow of movement by hanging one-way walkthrough signs to avoid close contact in tight spaces. Our PaMS team can provide you with custom and branded signage for safer working on-site. For more information on your work health and safety duties, visit Safe Work Australia.

Welcome employees back in style (and safety)

Provide individual welcome-back packs as a surprise as people return to the office. We recommend a Health & Safety pack that contains cleaning and hygiene products like hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to help employees maintain a safe and hygienic workspace. A stationery pack for individual use containing pens, a notebook, a stapler, scissors, paper clips and sticky notes is also recommended to discourage sharing products.

Highlight the benefits

Communicating the long-term benefits of on-site working can encourage employees to return. Data suggests that chance encounters and unplanned conversations via face-to-face interactions between workers improves performance.1  Networking as a result of in-person communication has also been shown to lead to more opportunities, increase knowledge and encourage faster career advancement.2

Encourage socially distanced team bonding

Results from our research earlier this year reveal that what people miss most about working on-site are the casual conversations with others. Reminding employees about what they’ve been missing can help.

Provide employee support

Maintaining open communication with employees about returning to work can help you understand their concerns and needs. Provide access to employee assistance programs and offer further support with remote working for those who need it.

Winc can provide you with all your workplace needs and support your employees with their return to work. Speak to one of our specialists by calling 1800 782 753 or view our full range online. Register your business account with our Winc Home Delivery service to have products delivered straight to employees who are working from home.

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1Waber, B., Magnolfi, J., Lindsay, G., 2014, ‘Workspaces That Move People’, <https://hbr.org/2014/10/workspaces-that-move-people>

2Kaplan, J., Hoffower, H., ‘Work from home is here to stay, but it may put younger workers at a disadvantage’, <https://www.businessinsider.com.au/remote-work-pros-cons-younger-workers-gen-z-millennials-2020-5?r=US&IR=T>