Ever since the vaccinations became widely available to adults, the conversations became centered on the same topic: under what conditions we will return to the office?
Within the span of three days, Google, Apple and Twitter all announced new return-to-work plans, which will likely send a ripple effect across the industry as companies reevaluate how and where they want their employees to work.
Many workers have mixed and complicated feelings about the change.
Why Now? Here are a few factors that might be part of the return-to-office calculus for HR leaders at the world’s biggest tech companies:
Follow the leader
It likely isn’t a coincidence that these companies announced their decisions in quick succession. As uncertainty over new variants and the state of COVID-19 make it impossible to truly predict how safe it is for people to go back to their offices, company leaders are looking to each other to make the first move.
Health and Wellbeing
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you have a need for connections with others. You will want varying amounts of time with others based on your preferences, but research has demonstrates if we don’t have adequate time face-to-face, we experience declines in wellbeing, increases in disease and reduced lifespans. Technology helps us connect, but is inadequate because we can’t read nonverbal cues as well as we can in person. In addition, we’re limited by delays, technical glitches and that pesky mute button.
Work-from-home levels are dropping
According to research from Stanford Economics Professor Nicholas Bloom. Firms cite employee concerns over new variants, as well as the fact that, well, working from home works well, and we’ve all gotten used to it.
4 Ways to Make It Easier
- Acknowledge the Discomfort. When you first come back into the office, it may feel like the first day of school. Knowing what situations trigger you can help you eliminate some of that fear-inducing uncertainty and gain a greater sense of control over your surroundings and how you react to them. Take note of the events that stress you out. There may be many: finding yourself in a crowded elevator, someone putting their hand out to shake yours, running into coworkers when you get up to fetch your coffee, or perhaps being invited into a small meeting room.
- Go slow. People who jump too fast may find themselves feeling exhausted very quickly. During that transition period, self-care is equally as important as it was during the height of the pandemic. Get a good night’s sleep. Eat well. Exercise.
Ask Questions and Share Concerns With Your Manager
Your supervisor may already be communicating to you about plans to bring employees back to the office, but even if not, ask them about it. If there are elements you’re confused about or aspects that don’t seem to be well-defined, ask for details. This process can be an opportunity for an employer to bolster their response and for you to let them know what your needs are, especially if that requires some kind of change or exception to policy.
- Now more than ever you need to better manage your time. Our flexible and agile solution TimeShift is a real-time manager to employee communication with broadcast capability for announcements to individuals or an entire team.
Click here and learn more about TimeShift Clock In/Out.