How HR can support employees returning to the office

With three-quarters of UK employees concerned about their welfare upon returning to the office, ICS Learn examines how people professionals can take action to help the transition go smoothly

How HR can support employees returning to the office

With three-quarters of UK employees concerned about their welfare upon returning to the workplace, and only 11 per cent wishing to return full time, it’s likely that many will face a return to office life with trepidation.

As a people professional, here are three steps you can take to help the transition go smoothly. 

Open the lines of communication

From all-staff meetings to employee surveys, it’s important that HR and senior leadership know exactly how employees are feeling at every stage of the return to the office. 

Give employees chances to share any questions they have more frequently, and ensure their concerns are addressed by concrete protocols and policies.

Implement health and safety measures

It’s vital that you carry out a full Covid-19 risk assessment before any office return plans are made. 

Keep employees informed of the precautions you’re taking, from mask requirements to an enhanced office cleaning schedule, and bear in mind some employees may still have vulnerable or unvaccinated family members at home.

Consider flexible, hybrid and remote working

With 73 per cent of UK employees agreeing they would take a pay cut in order to continue working remotely, consider carefully whether a return to the office is the right choice for your teams.

Could you offer employees a hybrid or flexible working pattern? Could the office be used as a central hub for important meetings with the rest of the time spent working from home? 

These are tricky questions – but questions that every forward-thinking organisation must face if they’re committed to employee satisfaction and wellbeing in the new world of work.

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