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Returning to Office: The Challenges and How to Address Them

It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in telecommuting and remote work. In fact, according to a study by FlexJobs, the number of people working remotely increased by 115% between 2017 and 2020. As organizations begin to return to office (RTO), it is important to consider the challenges employees may be facing. For many, returning to the office disrupts childcare/home routines, increases in spending for costs associated with gas, lunch on the go, and child/pet care. Additionally, adjusting to being back in the office with employees and leaders can have it's own set of challenges. Let's take a closer look at some of these challenges and how you can address them!

Though returning to work is an obligation, it is important to ease this transition as much as possible. Having an increase in stress at work and home may lead to fluctuations in performance, conflict(s) between staff and leaders, and low employee engagement. As the leader of an organization, you can help by being understanding and accommodating. Here are some ways you can do this:

-Offer flexible schedules

-Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day

-Provide resources for childcare, transportation, and pet care

-Allow employees to work from home when possible

It is also important to create a supportive and inclusive environment in the office. This can be done by:

-Encouraging employees to socialize with one another

-Fostering an environment of open communication

-Providing training on how to have difficult conversations

-Creating opportunities for team building

Returning to work after an extended period of time can be challenging for everyone. By being understanding and accommodating, you can ease this transition and help your employees feel supported. What are some other ways you can think of to support employees during this time?

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our other blog post on Employee Retention: Four Tips on How to Retain Employees. Additionally, if you would like support in developing and facilitating team building activities, workshops, to support staff, please contact us at CALM CUES, LLC.

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