Four rules for returning to the office
There is a lot of angst about who should come back and when. The urge to come back isn’t necessarily right for everyone, but it needs to be communicated honestly and clearly.
29-Aug-21 ?? As if we didn’t have enough angst and division in this country, the most recent conflict emerges between WFHomers and their employers, the RTOers, who intend and insist on increasing the time employees have to spend in the workplace. office every week.
As many companies push back the start dates for the big comeback ?? some of the top tech companies are already targeting early next year ?? It’s clear that there is a growing gap in employee expectations, which is likely to expand even further as the Delta variant and its offspring spread. And the most disappointed team members aren’t necessarily the ones you expect. It’s the people stuck in the middle who have the blues.
What is particularly concerning about the arguments on the right way back is how quickly this debate is turning into an economic class and caste struggle.
It has already become difficult for even the best-intentioned management teams to explain, try to empathetically justify and ultimately honestly deliver the sad news to some important groups of their employees that life does. is still not right, and that one size and one solution is still not suitable for everyone.
Telling people things they don’t want to hear is never easy.
Years from now, when we all look back on that time and the pandemic in its entirety, one of the most disheartening achievements will be how disproportionately and unfairly the burdens of COVID-19 have been borne by people from different economic strata.
Executives in nearly every industry will need to quickly figure out how to explain to their employees, the media and the world that many of their lowest-paid workers need to be on site even though the company won’t need more. with different responsibilities and requirements to do the same.
Worse yet, they’re going to have to tell a bunch of mid-level workers who clearly thought otherwise ?? and believed that they had a lot more flexibility and control over their lives than the people in the factory ?? that they too are expected to present themselves.
This latest news is likely to be the crudest of all awakenings, as it’s as emotionally linked when it comes to perceived status as it is when it comes to travel costs, productivity, and other household issues. .
Some of the companies that have tried to make the new requirements applicable at all levels have found that ?? unlike lower level blue collar and collared workers who pretty much knew they were screwed from the start of the pandemic ?? the folks in the middle are already raising the biggest stench and threatening to go elsewhere, which is really the last thing these companies can afford right now.
Unfortunately, a lot of this ?? knowledge ?? and creative workers believe, rightly or wrongly, that they have many other alternatives rather than desperately returning to their booths. We will know soon enough whether their trust is well justified or unfortunately misplaced.
My own guess is that many of these folks will find that the kind of jobs and salaries they seek to replicate aren’t exactly plentiful in the new, streamlined economy.
And those who are wrapped up in the idea of just starting their own business are even more likely to be unhappy.
Another key part of the problem is that many older people making these decisions have weathered the crisis with minimal disruption, smoothed and softened by a robust stock market, so they don’t necessarily understand or appreciate to how drastically millions of lives are and circumstances have been changed, uprooted and transformed.
They also don’t understand how long and how painful the return to the new normal is likely to be for families concerned about the lingering health and housing issues, their children ?? education, reorganization and resumption of child and pet care, and supplementing the spouse’s lost income.
Management has neither the time nor the ability to see what the competitors are doing or how the variants progress when the day-to-day demands of the workplace and the demands of the reinvigorated economy require clear and consistent answers and direction for their employees. employees.
Now is the time to bring people back to reality as well as to the office because, what if you are not structuring and animating the “return to work”? conversations, you can bet the void will quickly be filled with comments, complaints, and criticism that probably won’t help.
While there are no perfect answers, here are four important ideas to keep in mind when making a policy and, more importantly, when trying to honestly communicate it to everyone on your team.
1 Explain what applies to everyone.
These conversations should start by clarifying that the overall company policies are generally applicable to everyone ?? as they always have been ?? and that everyone is required to comply.
Will there be exceptions based on a variety of reasons and criteria ?? as there has always been too ?? but no group of employees are given special treatment or privileges that do not have a clear business purpose and value to the company.
2 Note that there have always been variable shifts, seasons and hours.
In many ways, once we get back to the ?? new ?? Normally, the way the business will operate will not be significantly changed for most employees, and it is important to clarify this.
If the basic company policy is going to be “everyone on the bridge”,? which has always been pre-pandemic, so there isn’t much left to discuss. It’s just back to business.
3 Make sure your accolades are meaningful and important.
You can be sure everyone in the business will know exactly who is being asked to do what. This means that it is very important that you have a precise and ready rationale for each group of employees who are treated differently in some respect. It will be very important that your management team lead by example and make a point of being there and visible.
4 Focus on what you can fix.
It is essential to show all team members that the company is proactive and helpful in dealing with and providing assistance and solutions to the various recurring issues that many will face. Flexible hours, including early departure times, pet-friendly offices, office COVID-19 testing, and vaccinations, are some of the common remedies. But be prepared to improvise.