As pandemic restrictions are lifted, the majority of employees who currently work from home in Ontario will be heading back to the office at some point in the foreseeable future. At the beginning of March, the Ontario government announced that 60,000 public sector workers will return to the office for a minimum of three days a week by April 4. Additionally, many departments within the federal government are likewise having federal employees return to the office with some form of short-term hybrid model.
With both the provincial and federal governments implementing a timeline for employees to return to the workplace, this likely will set a precedent for all industries to follow a similar trajectory. Ultimately, this signals a welcome return to normalcy after a period of such collective uncertainty.
Team members from organizations across a myriad of industries are making the transition back to work after COVID. Companies such as Apple and NBCUniversal are commencing a new phase for all employees returning to work in offices over the next month or two.
In essence, the work from home (WFH) model that so many people became accustomed to over the course of the last two years, will likely soon be a thing of the past.
Yet, organizations acknowledge that some team members will need a bit more time than others to adapt to a return to the office milieu. It’s this empathetic approach that will prove beneficial for teams to adapt to the office during this period of transition. Furthermore, organizations have recourse to incentivization which will certainly make going back to work in the office all the more enjoyable for every team member.
There are incentives to bring employees back to the office that companies can take into consideration including:
After two years of uncertainty, blessedly we are returning to normalcy - even if it is regarded as a “new normal”. After such a period of unpredictability, teams are yearning to be face-to-face once again.
Research has shown that by this juncture, 96% of workers expect some form of a return to the office, and 66% of employees look forward to being back to work in the office. Interestingly, since the beginning of the pandemic, 27% of employees complained that they felt less of a connection to other team members, and 31% of workers surveyed stated that they were more inclined to quit their jobs if they had to continue with the work from home (WFH) model.
Truthfully, a wonderful way to welcome teams back to work in the office is by small tokens of gratitude. Let’s face it, few things bring people closer together or create a sense of happiness faster than food. For instance, providing free healthy snacks, or ordering out for delicious free meals on a regular basis is a great way to help your team adapt to work back in the office.
Research has conclusively proven that a convivial activity such as enjoying a meal together has a clear correlation to increased team productivity. In essence, having office meals together as a team creates a familial environment in the workplace. This affords team members the opportunity to relax and instills a camaraderie amongst employees as they inevitably bond over meals.
Regardless of whether you are ordering out for office lunches, or providing your team with meal stipends, Ritual for Companies provides an extraordinary selection of beverages, meals, and healthy snacks from local restaurants and cafes. Moreover, welcome your team back to work in the office with location-based credits that are activated by the physical location of your office. In addition, corporate meal programs are customizable, providing your team with one-time or recurring credits for food incentives.
Suffice to say, the return to the office will be a transition for everyone - both employees and organizations, alike. Yet, there are many different ways that teams can adapt to this period of new beginnings.
Think of the return to the office as a welcome opportunity for growth within the culture of your organization. Foster camaraderie and an inclusive sense of togetherness amongst your team members through things such as regular office meals.
By creating a familial atmosphere in the workplace, invariably an esprit de corps will develop in your team. As a result, not only will this prove as an incentive to return to work in the office, but most importantly, it acts as a means for employee retention. An organization that is capable of retaining and growing with the same employees for years ultimately is a successful, flourishing organization.