Returning to the workplace

For the past two years, people all over the world have eagerly waited for the pandemic to end. As we’ve adapted, innovated, and persevered, life and workplaces are now starting to look a bit more ‘normal.’ However, many organisational routines and processes might not fit our new normal. And that’s okay. In fact, recognising this can empower an organisation to become even better than before. Managing teams in a way that accommodates everyone’s needs increases workplace wellbeing, and a happy, healthy workforce makes us stronger.

It’s obvious to say that living through the pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health. A recent survey by AetnaIntl found that 70% said that the stress from being alone and isolated at home hurt their work performance, and approximately 30% were worried about their mental health.

However, others have flourished while working from home. As a digital company ourselves we were well prepared to cope with remote working, and because we deliver online learning, we became very busy very quickly! For us, productivity has increased because we work from home. No commute, lunch on hand and a reasonably comfortable workspace at home has helped us to achieve more than we could in an office. But everyone is different and organisations need to acknowledge our different experiences, priorities and preferences.

Some employees may take longer than others to transition from working from home to being back in the office. It is hard for organisations to cater to each employee individually. However, staff will greatly appreciate management that puts their safety first, who are flexible and allow for hybrid working, where possible. Workplace wellbeing is achieved when organisations understand their employees’ emotional, social, psychological and physical health.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the association for human resource management professionals, recommends businesses and managers implement solutions for a safe and supportive workplace when returning to the office.

Unlike the lockdown where everyone had to readjust their daily lives overnight, returning to the office can be done gradually. As organisations outline their plans, some might continue with remote or hybrid working. To accommodate that, managers should communicate well and often to ensure staff feel a sense of belonging and part of their team.

In rapid response to the pandemic our team at Digital Bricks Learning developed a course called Managing Teams Remotely which was well received at a time of great need. We have now put together a comprehensive, evidence-based course called Returning to the Workplace. The course provides organisations and managers with the right tools and resources to effectively support their teams with a transition to hybrid or total return to the workplace in a positive and powerful way.

In summary:

  • Returning to the office is a two-way trust process.
  • Organisations should encourage feedback from employees.
  • Employers should implement a safe and flexible plan for hybrid working or full return to the office.
  • Employees should be open and work with their organisation to find the best fit for everyone.

In a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, workplace wellbeing is everyone’s business. To learn more about our range of courses including Managing Teams Remotely and Returning to the Workplace click here.

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Photo by kate.sade on Unsplash

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