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Managing your Employee's return to the office - How will you keep your staff? Return to work stats

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

States of Play, a joint CNBC/Change Research Survey in the USA states, has reported that once the economy reopens, 24% of people working from home during the pandemic say they’d like to work either entirely or more from home compared to how they worked before.

However in Singapore the figure is even higher. In the Singapore Workforce Survey, 80% of employees indicated a preference to continue working from home half their time or more post-June 1, with only 10% not wishing to continue working from home.

In the UK research by StarLeaf – the UK-based global video meetings provider – reports that 57% of people working from home would like to wait a month before returning to their office. Once lockdown measures are fully lifted, 60% of people would like to work from home more often than they did previously (31% would not). Of these, almost two thirds would like to work from home either two or three times a week, and one quarter only want to pay the office a visit one day a week. An important statistic is that 84% of people say it’s either very or quite important for employers to offer staff the option of working from home with only 3% saying it’s not important.

In Hong Kong nine out of 10 employees want to have the option to work outside of the office environment and during a time that better accommodates their lifestyle. However it is not as essential.

So you are a business who wants or needs your staff in your office. How are you going to manage this?

Coaching your staff through this period of re-adjustment, especially following complete lockdown is going to be essential. With many companies now adding working from home and flexible/ agile working as a perk to entice your staff away. Here are some coaching ideas to help you bring your staff back into the office.

  1. Talk to your Employees. Get them ready for the move back to full time in the office. Help them feel valued. Do not frighten them with the amount of work they have to do when they are back. Especially if they have been on unpaid leave or furlough. This may accelerate their external job hunt. Ask them how they are feeling about this? What are their challenges? How can you help them overcome these? Do they have any fears about the return? Communication is absolutely key.

  2. Ensure their environment is as enticing as this possibly can be. Any additions you can make to show you care. I know that cost saving is an issue at the moment, however things like fresh fruit, lunch once a month or any other well-being offer may help.

  3. Graduate the return to the office. 3 days, then 4 days and then 5 days. Ease people back in. Help them to understand that you are truly empathetic.

  4. Look at your work from home policy. Can this be adjusted? How effective could this be to implement? If this is not possible, let your staff know why or communicate your reasoning.

  5. Hire an external Coach. Ok, so am a Coach. I would say this, right? However, having an external person to speak to can help even with groups, allows transparency, gives your people the ability to speak up, to express fears and reservations. Coaching encourages your employees to talk openly about challenges they are having. Facilitating resolution of the issues.

All of the above can help you keep your key staff. Your competitors will be demonstrating their CSR policies and showing what great employers they are. With the rise of social media and platforms like Glassdoor, how you manage this stage of your Employees working careers may be key to your business reputation and growth.

Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. She is also the Founder of a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level. She has completed 90 hours of training at International Coaching Federation (ICF) standards.

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