As an increasing number of people head back to the office after an extended period of working from home, it can be hard for managers and executives to set the right environment for returning employees. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps anyone in this position can take in an effort to create a welcoming space for everyone.
Keep Things Clean
Especially in the wake of a global health crisis, many people are especially worried about the cleanliness of their surroundings. Of course, there are plenty of other valid reasons to maintain a neat and tidy workspace. Nevertheless, ensuring that proper office cleaning services are being conducted might convince skeptical employees that it is indeed safe to return to work. Outside firms can take care of the routine cleaning jobs, but it is also important to instill good habits. Since the tone is set at the top, managers might want to consider offering an extended range of cleaning and sanitizing supplies to their staff. This can empower workers to take cleanliness into their own hands and maintain a personal space that is welcoming to others in their general area.
Focus On Diversity
While it might be said that “diversity” has become a diluted buzzword in many facets of life, it is still clearly a lofty goal to which any workplace should strive to attain. At its root, diversity in an office should result in people from all walks of life feeling welcome to appropriately express their views. When business leaders remember that employees are individuals with unique experiences and outlooks on life, it becomes easier to set an environment that is open and inclusive. Considering the fact that remote work remains a popular option for many individuals, it might be worth offering employees an option to work from home if they prefer.
Create Common Goals
The key to any high-functioning workplace lies in the concept of a team working toward a specific goal. Whatever that might mean for the individual industry or community, those in executive positions should be sure that it is clear to all employees that their involvement in the process matters. Reward those who go above and beyond. Encourage those who fall behind. Creating a team means making room for everyone and emphasizing their individual talents. A return to the office provides an opportunity for employees to once again meet one-on-one and in groups to discuss their role in achieving both short- and long-term goals.
It might take a while for many businesses to fully adjust, but returning to work in offices will hopefully be a net positive on the overall productivity of the workforce. When addressed from the proper perspective, returning to the office can provide a beneficial chance for a fresh start. Managers can establish or reiterate their commitment to creating a welcoming environment for everyone in the company. There will always be challenges and disagreements in the office, but the right attitude can help resolve most of them. Focusing on the three broad topics outlined above can help establish that attitude in any office.