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It has to be acknowledged: the COVID-19 pandemic revolutionized both the workforce and our concept of the workplace. During this time, remote work skyrocketed. According to Owl Labs, after the start of the pandemic 59% of employees said they would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work as an option. As the global emergency subsides, however, a return to the office will be beneficial for fostering a team environment. You might bethinking: where do we go from here? Well, let’s talk about it. First and foremost, it will be necessary to re-evaluate your approach when it comes to incentivizing employees to return to the office after they’ve grown accustomed to a new way of life. Here are some ways you can motivate them moving forward.

Remind Them of the Benefits

Anything can become comfortable if you practice it long enough. Think about where workers are coming from right now; they have been through a difficult time and have experienced some financial strain. Remote work became the norm and felt like the safer choice, so it’s understandable that a return to the office may seem daunting at first. More than likely, employees have forgotten what they liked about spending time in the workplace. Remind them of the camaraderie, the collaborative efforts that made such a positive impact on the day-to-day atmosphere. Ask them about the challenges of working remote: did they feel as engaged as they normally do? Wouldn’t they rather keep work and home separate from each other?

Improve the Workspace

If you keep your employees happy, they will be much more likely to accept a return to the office. Consider cost-efficient ways you can enhance the workspace. Is it tidy and appealing? Put some time and effort into revitalizing the office, whether that means adding artwork, installing more comfortable chairs or sprucing up the break room with a few new amenities. What kind of problems did employees bring to your attention prior to the pandemic? Perhaps they didn’t always have access to adequate office supplies. If this is the case, solve the problem to the best of your ability and communicate your dedication to making the workplace better for their return to the office.

Consider a Compromise

If you keep your employees happy, they will be much more likely to accept a return to the office. Consider cost-efficient ways you can enhance the workspace. Is it tidy and appealing? Put some Even with a return to the office, you should expect some employees to express a desire to continue working remotely. The workplace will continue to evolve, and it is likely that workers will still seek out remote options. Working with this reality rather than against it might be the best way to proceed. One of the smartest ways to make employees return to the office may be to meet them halfway and offer a hybrid alternative. Plus, if your workers get back to the workplace gradually, they could potentially choose to stay long-term once as they get used to coming in again. Either way, you benefit as an employer: compromise is the perfect way to appeal to your employees, and if they are happier and more engaged with a part-time option, why not offer it? It may be worth it to keep up morale and make them feel heard.

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About the Author

Eric Middleton

CEO
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Embodying the 1Rivet culture, Eric asks himself and others daily: "What have you done for the client today?" He’s a passionate leader who brings an innovative approach and a burst of energy to every client organization.

An expert in program management, data analytics, business analysis and custom development, Eric’s known for his pragmatic approach and his ability to leverage proven methodologies to get things done faster, without compromising quality.

During his nearly two decades of successfully integrating complex IT systems during mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, he’s served dozens of companies in the banking, utility and auto industries.

Prior to founding 1Rivet, Eric was director of enterprise program management at Fannie Mae, director of enterprise program management for SapientNitro and spent as decade as a senior manager at Accenture.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, where he enjoyed attending Nittany Lions football games.

When Eric’s not working you can find him jogging, skiing, woodworking and collecting vintage arcade games from the 1920s-1950s. A Maryland native, Eric lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, two children, and black lab, Basil.

About the Author

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