Return-to-Office Plans: How to Overcome the Reluctance

Return-to-office plans are being implemented gradually in most companies. Leaders assert that working from the office enhances collaboration among team members. They also mention that working together in person leaves more margin for collective innovation. However, employees believe that office space does not provide the same amount of flexibility and safety that they feel in their homes. In addition, they offer various reasons not to work from the office. Therefore, many companies have come up with mindful and appropriate policies to facilitate their return-to-office initiatives. In their article for Harvard Business Review, James R. Bailey and Scheherazade Rehman share how you can simplify your return-to-office plans.

How to Execute Return-to-Office Plans

Categorize Your Employees

Compartmentalize your employees depending on their opinions regarding working from the office. Some people will not voice their opinion vocally, and that is where you must rely on your instincts.

Identify and Acknowledge Their Reasons

Listen to the concerns of your workforce and acknowledge them. Make them feel that their concerns are legitimate and need to be handled with utmost concern.

Talk to the Neutral Group

There will be some employees that do not have a rigid opinion about returning to the office. Talk to them, and point out the positive aspects of returning to the office.

Encourage Passive Supporters

Amassing passive supporters will help you encourage the naysayers. Talk to them about the positives of working from the office. Give them a clear idea of what they need to convey and how it will benefit the entire organization.

Introduce Return-to-Office Plans Collectively

Employees that support work-from-office policies should be the torchbearers of your campaign. Give them the freedom to talk to the staff about the advantages of coming back to the office. However, make sure you monitor the entire process. Ensure nobody is forced or threatened to return to the office. It will not enhance productivity and will also bring a negative tone to your leadership skills.

Click on the link to read the original article: https://hbr.org/2022/02/how-to-overcome-return-to-office-resistance   

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