Returning to Work: How Do I Balance Health and Productivity?

Now that the pandemic is turning into an endemic, offices are ready to open and allow their employees to physically come back to work. However, as wonderful as this sounds, not all employees want to willingly come back to work. They’ve gotten so used to working from home that it has become much easier to manage their workload and time. Coming back to work triggers a lot of anxiety for some people. Two main triggers are social anxiety and health anxiety. Physically seeing people after a long period of “loneliness” can create an uneasy feeling inside a person’s body causing them to potentially quit their jobs. According to Business Insider, “nearly 40% of workers would consider quitting their jobs if their bosses made them return to the office full-time”. The sad truth is that not all offices have the flexibility of working from home.  

Another trigger for employees would be health hazards. We all know our homes are the cleanest places to work. The current strain of the coronavirus is not completely eradicated. People still have fears of people sneezing on them without covering their mouths or not sanitizing their hands every chance they get. This brings out the cautious and health-conscious side of certain people.  

Benefits of Working from Home 

Working from home has its benefits including increased productivity, fewer distractions, more time with family, and, most importantly, shorter commute times. Most employees don’t have the desire to come back to the office space because working from home is much more enjoyable. According to Business Insider, “Many global companies are embracing a hybrid work model as staff start to return to offices post-pandemic.” Commuting back and forth to a physical office is the last thing on a person’s mind as we emerge from the pandemic.  

Adapting to the Office Again  

Not everyone has the opportunity of working from home. When the pandemic hit last year, the initial presumption was that working from home would be short-term. Obviously, that was not the case. A year and half later, coming back to work seems to be a bigger challenge than expected. According to CNBC, there are two major concerns – health hazards and losing a sense of autonomy and flexibility. Organizations should be mindful of the needs and desires of their employees. Like it or not, their mental and physical health comes first.  

Spreading Joy  

A team is a team irrespective of whether they’ve physically seen each other. It is important to celebrate each other when there is something to celebrate, such as birthdays, work anniversaries and physically coming back to work. If we’ve learnt anything from this pandemic, it’s to celebrate and appreciate the little things in life both personally and professionally. Coming back to the office can be a big step for some people. It’s a fresh breath of air when employers don’t continuously talk shop with each other 24/7. Making small talk such as “How’s your day going?” or “How’s your family?” or “How’re you feeling with your illness?” assures employees that their managers and directors care about their mental and physical health. Along with small talk comes coffee breaks. Coffee breaks expedite bonding. There is always something stressful to discuss at work. Casual hangouts like coffee breaks and team lunches can ease the tension and create a light-hearted conversation amongst teammates and other employees.  

Monitoring Returning to Work Transition

Our survey tool is designed to gather feedback from your employees and give you actionable insights into how your business can improve employee experience. By paying attention to the difference between remote and in-person employees, you can truly set your business up for all the successes it will achieve. You can retain more employees by supporting their needs and desires and continue to build stable and strong relationships with them. Try out PxidaEX today for gathering employee feedback today!