Crossing the Threshold: Successful Reentry to the Office Environment
By David Berube, MD, Medical Director and Vice President, Lincoln Financial Group; Glenn Pransky, MD, Scientific Consultant, Lincoln Financial Group
More employees are returning to the office and to regular activities, including business travel, that were suspended during the height of the pandemic.1 Workplace norms, however, have been challenged. To ensure that employees’ transition back to the office is successful, employers must address employee needs and concerns.
Employees need to know that their voices are heard, and it’s essential to understand what matters most to them. Surveys and interviews can provide valuable insights and identify new opportunities to create positive change, especially when they are conducted throughout a transition period.2
Exposure to COVID-19, less workday flexibility, day care, pet care, and commuting are top concerns cited by employees when faced with the prospect of going back to offices,3 which may disrupt established and successful routines. For example, some might say that commuting will add expense and disrupt efficiencies. Employers should address these concerns with regular communication and encourage active dialogue and recommendations while focusing on the positive elements of office work, such as seeing coworkers in person.
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