Implementing change management strategies can help remove barriers in returning to the office.
What is Change Management?
Change management is how you prepare, assist, and help your employees through individual or organizational changes. Your organization’s response and process of helping your employees adopt work-from-home and hybrid schedules is an example of change management.
Only 42% of employees say their company does a good job of communicating. That means you may not be doing as good of a job as you might think. (Or you’re doing an amazing job, but you should ask your employees what they think – it can’t hurt!)
Your employees don’t just need to hear from you, they want to hear from you. The top expectation from employees during the pandemic, for example, is that their employers communicate effectively, according to an Alight study.
In addition to effective communication, consider the use and layout of your office space in regards to your change management strategy. The expectations employees have today, especially if they have spent a long time working from home, can be quite different.
A hybrid office provides both private and personal workspaces, as well as open, collaborative spots for interaction. That could be couches for your employees to use while working, or cafe-style seating. One of the largest downsides to working from home has been the need to collaborate through computers and cameras, so your employees will want to be in the same room as each other when they return.
Updating your office space will allow your employees to embrace being back in the office. They will need time and resources to help with the change and a comfortable workplace will play a major role in their transition back.
Some people working from home during the pandemic have maintained their schedule by simulating their commutes with walks or bike rides for the same duration of their commute. Why? Because they want to separate work and home, not because they miss the effort and stress of a real commute.
What does that mean for you? Helping your employees learn or relearn a new commute. Only 12% of people will continue to work from home full-time, according to a study by Gensler, and providing them with commute plans can help people explore their options.