The transition back to the office is becoming a reality for many companies, but doing so in a way that applies the lessons learned from the last year will be a challenge.
Although the shift to remote working has been a dream for some, the unfortunate truth is that mental health has taken a major hit and people are struggling more than normal. In addition to loneliness and isolation, working mothers have had to leave the workforce and people of color are experiencing major racial and social trauma.
So what can business leaders do to address the negatives and adopt the positives when coming back to the office?
Creating a sense of belonging will be key for both in-office and remote workers. This will require reinforcing three factors: feeling comfortable, feeling connected to coworkers and feeling like you are contributing meaningful work.
Leaders should emphasize this by reminding workers that everyone is working towards the same goal, while also acknowledging different work styles and accomplishments.
Additionally, leaders should adjust policies and integrate wellbeing into the flow of work. For instance, incorporating pulse surveys that can get a read on an employees’ mental state at the time can provide leaders with a better understanding of how their workers are feeling, then offer them mental health resources that could be helpful.