Is Working In The Office Each Day A Thing Of The Past?
For many businesses working in the office every day may be a thing of the past so what can you do to keep employees engaged as they work from home long-term?
Lockdown restrictions have started to ease this month with the reopening of schools, meaning a return to the office or workplace could also be just around the corner for many businesses.
Many employees have spent the winter months working from home during the latest lockdown and some haven’t returned to their office or workspace for a year since the first lockdown was announced in March 2020.
But although a return for large numbers of employees may be on the horizon, many companies plan to keep employees working from home even when restrictions ease.
For many firms, the ‘new normal’ is an opportunity to cut down on unwanted office space or even close buildings and workspaces altogether, saving them valuable money and resources.
Latest research estimates that 18 million square feet of office space will become redundant in the next five years and the five day office week will also be a thing of the past.
However, although many employees have become accustomed to remote working and speaking to their colleagues and clients daily online, is remote working really such a good thing?
With enhanced technology and IT systems connectivity is not usually a problem but the human contact and personal element that a workplace brings is certainly missed by many workers.
The opportunity to speak with people face-to-face, break up the day with a chat in a social space and just the general banter of the office is lost through remote working.
So if your company is considering keeping your workforce at home long term to deliver your business needs, what can you do to keep employees engaged?
- Regular contact with employees is important, but not just via email. Speaking to someone on the phone or via video is more personable even though it’s not quite the same as meeting them for real
- Invite employees into the office on a monthly basis for a catch-up to break up their ‘working from home’ routine
- Make them aware of activities they can do to boost their mental health such as taking a daily walk during their lunchtime
- Encourage them to set up their workspace in a different room from the lounge or wherever they relax and unwind after the working day
- Make sure your employees feel heard and valued
Whatever your work situation, whether it’s a gradual return to the office or you’re continuing to work from home, make sure you and your employees stay in touch and stay engaged.