2020 is a year where almost everything in the world change. This includes sectors of education, business, and health. One of the most felt and obvious effects of the pandemic is the impact on business structures and practices that shaped workplaces. Health protocols resulted in many companies having to work from home. This allows employees to be safe in the comforts of their homes.
The work from the home setup is also often seen as a way to make work more flexible. This has helped people to be more productive and even innovative in their work from home setups and habits. But now that protocols are starting to ease up. Many companies are starting to get back to the office. While we can say that this is a sign of things getting back to normal. This can also be a cause for different issues.
There is a number of employees that only started working during the pandemic. This means that many of the workers going to the offices might be experiencing their first time doing so. And, as many people know. First times are not always the best when it comes to productivity.
The work-from-home setup and workplace setup are different from each other. And so, it is a company’s responsibility to step up and make a space that will harness a good working environment.
We asked successful businessman Benito Keh important questions about guiding employees in their new work environment.
How should businesses prepare to go back to offices in terms of technicalities?
“One of the most important things to keep in mind is to guarantee productivity. To achieve this, companies have to utilize the right tools. It’s been a while since you’ve been in the office and your equipment could use an upgrade.
Before going back to the office in a hybrid work environment, make sure all of your gear is completely up to date. A hybrid working space can also work more effectively through cloud-based technology, enabling all workers to contribute in real-time. Consider transitioning any PCs to this type of setup if you can afford it.”
How should companies help their employees adjust to working on-site?
“This can be done by making sure that they are a part of your preparation. Include them in planning, in meetings, and ask for their feedback and suggestions. At some point during the set-up of your plan, you should ask your employees how they feel and what their thoughts are about the new workplace.
There are many advantages to doing this so that very few people realize they can take advantage of suggestions that mitigate downsides. You can also for their advice on business and operations matters. The employees can help improve the decision-making process.
You may even find out unsuspected talents that could turn out to be very beneficial to not just you but your entire team in general!”
Do you also approach your employees in a more personal manner about adjusting to a new workplace?
“Your team may have been working remotely for a significant amount of time and so going back to an office setting can be a little nerve-wracking for them. This is because some people will feel vulnerable due to being in public or under scrutiny and it can be a hard adjustment for them to make at first.
Keep this in mind when you are ready to bring everyone into the same location once again. If you want your new employees, even the ones who have not worked remotely previously, to fit right in, you need to exercise empathy. Be there with understanding when they start having doubts about their ability to work back in an office surrounded by their peers. Some organizations support employees who require a little more care through their new working arrangements.”
How do you establish teamwork among people who are used to talking with each other online than in person?
“In order to keep the team connected, make sure that their communities are online with them. Share links that paint a picture of your company’s culture within and outside a single team. Also, come up with some activities that people can get into or support causes their passionate about in an effort to boost morale. You can do this through an online collaboration tool like Slack for easy communication throughout all the hard work.
Companies do not need to cut the use of technology and other online tools just because they are back to making personal interactions. They can still utilize some of these to keep the energy consistent and ongoing.”
Any last piece of advice?
“Just always think of how you can keep the team united despite the distance. You need to value all members regardless of who is available in person and who happens to be working at a distance, so don’t favor members who are able to physically go into the office over those who have included valuable contributions through remote work arrangements.
If you need more help transitioning, get in touch with me, Benito Keh. I will be happy to share my experiences as both a leader and business manager and I value helping people find their place in the world of entrepreneurship.”