Over the past year, COVID-19 has changed the way we work. Working from home has become normal, but with the world slowly reopening, U.S. companies and businesses are encouraging their employees to return to offices as soon as possible. If you are a small business owner thinking about asking your employees to return to work full time on-site, here are 5 things you should consider:
1. Why are you returning to the office?
Is there an authentic reason why you need your employees at the office in-person, or do you just want your employees back in one location because that i
’s what companies did pre-COVID? If working virtually has been efficient for you and your team this past year, is it necessary to require an in-office return? If your answer is no, consider adapting to a permanent stay-at-home model. You do no ’t have to risk losing loyal, hard-working talent over old school business practices.
2. What are the needs and desires of your employees?
Before requiring a return to office, think about what your employees need. Are they parents with children at home who might achieve a better work-life balance without a commute? Have they expressed discomfort of returning in person due to a high-risk health condition? Are your employees skilled with at-home tech? Working in-office was efficient for a time, but what works for one, will not always work for all. Consider sending an anonymous employee engagement survey to your team inquiring about their stance on this issue.
3. Working from home has increased productivity.
Workers are more productive at home as they have had the opportunity to take control of their day and to individualize their workflows. Forbes reports that 90% of remote employees felt their productivity either stayed the same or improved while working from home.
4. You can save your company money.
One major benefit of keeping your employees at home is that it will save you money. Paying rent and utilities for an office space, regularly cleaning it to keep up with post-COVID safety protocols, food, and taxes will add up if you choose to bring your employees back into the office. Consider how much you will save.
5. What you won’t do, another company will.
It’s time for business leaders to be employee-centric and focus on the needs of their employees, as well as the success of the company. Yes, it is great to have a team all in one place, but the past 15 months have shown that many businesses can remain productive, relevant, and growing while working from home.
Some people love working in-office and being around others. Some people are more productive from their living spaces. You can show grace to your employees by giving them the option to choose between the two, rather than requiring them to conform only to your comfort. As the world evolves, so does the future of the way we work, and if you will not change along with it, there are going to be other companies who will.