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CULTURE CONNECTIVITY FOR YOUR PURPOSE, PEOPLE AND PROCESSES.
Returning to the office shouldn’t be so d*mn hard
Alas, transitioning the remote company culture back into the office can be done. There might be some awkward meetings and conversations about what vaccine you got, swapping quarantine stories, the usual.
But don’t let that stop you from putting effort into bringing back the company culture that existed a year ago—or dare we say, an improved one! Here are a couple of tips on how to make the first couple of weeks as painless and productive as possible.
Even if company culture is at the forefront of priorities, each employee will react differently to returning to the office.
Some will be excited to be back in the buzz of working side-by-side. In contrast, others have grown to love working remotely—sweatpants and a nice shirt having become the new norm.
Keeping this spectrum of personalities in mind, there are bound to be setbacks. It’s impossible to predict everything that could happen with each employee, but having an action plan will help the whole company culture be sustained.
There is something beautiful about taking baby steps. One option is to offer a hybrid model to all employees (whether they take it or not, it’s nice to have the option).
Offices have taken a modern turn, highlighting comfort and freedom. So, try taking aspects of home into the office. In other words, avoid cubicles! Throw some couches, pillows, and colorful artwork into the space to mix things up from the typical office scene. This is a less intimidating space to walk into.
Lunch breaks are a sacred time, and it can be helpful to have flexible options for employees. If a group wants to gather and socialize for lunch? Great. If someone needs a break and would rather eat alone in their car or at a desk? Also great. As long as the options are clearly presented!
Productivity might spike and then lower, but there is no way to predict the rollercoaster that is going back to the office.
Another option for baby steps going forward is to schedule less meetings the first week back in the office. This sounds so scary. What will we do without meetings?
But, the meetings are pointless if everyone is spacey and distracted by the new changes around them.
Hey, we’re all human!
At the end of the day, this is new territory. If the effort and space is present, then successfully transitioning back to an in-person office environment can happen (with a few bumps in the road).