Monday, August 9, 2021

How to make returning to office easier? Tips for leaders.

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash


Many employers are contemplating on resuming office, maybe partially or full time. Now, here there would be mixed reaction from employees. Some of them will be willing to resume office while some of them will prefer working from home. There could be multitudinous reasons behind this. Many of the employees out there might have gone through tumultuous emotional turmoil during this pandemic. They might have witnessed poignant scenes and have been in agonizing state of mind. Hence, the fear, the pain might still be prominent.

Here are some tips for leaders to handle this situation:

1) Communication: Communication is the key to many questions. It will be wise to provide detailed information regarding all the necessary steps the organization has taken to ensure safety. That way employees who are somewhat nervous about coming back to work, will feel better. Not just that. Some employees might have developed self-doubts because of this long tenure of working remotely without face-to-face interaction. Hence it is imperative for leaders to make them feel at home. One step to follow here is praise genuinely and let them know that they are valuable assets of this organization. Leaders can talk about the genuine efforts put in by the team members and bring in some examples wherein the members have proved themselves.

2) Discuss concerns: The pandemic has taken a toll on mental health of people. Hence, there could be some employees who are facing issues, be it anxiety, be it fear of the unknown, be it the pain of losing someone close. Encourage them to speak out. Listen to them. There are stories wherein some people are against group therapy and fear people judging them, if they let people know about the panic attacks they get or the fright that has gripped them. Let your team members feel secure when they talk to you. Let them surrender their thoughts to you. If needed, guide them to get counselling.

3) Promote interpersonal connections: With people being away from office environment for so long, some employees may feel disconnected. They may have trouble building fresh new connections in office. Hence, leaders can arrange occasional luncheons, after office happy hours etc. to build that connect.

4) Take care of yourself and your emotions: As a leader responsible for many decisions and handling team members, it is very important for you to take care of yourself. Your mood swings, your physical and mental exhaustion can affect your decisions. Hence, taking care of yourself, physically and mentally is as important as taking care of your team members.



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