3 Return to Office Mistakes Companies Make

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Now that most people are back at work, it’s more important than ever for business leaders to pay attention to employee’s wants and well-being. Failures are hard to spot when they are happening. Still, the effects are often clear after the return-to-office strategy is implemented.

As leaders, we must regularly look at how we lead, think about new ideas, and change as we move through this uncharted territory. The most important thing is to catch mistakes as soon as possible.

Here are 3 common mistakes that companies do with their return to office strategy:

1. Not getting feedback from employees in the right way.

For a smooth return-to-office policy, you need the right mix of tactics, support, and technology to help you avoid big problems. It also takes some time to think about yourself. One way to do this is to think about what we should bring from remote and mixed settings and what we should leave behind.

For this kind of reflection, you need consistent, accurate feedback from your team. But straight-up questions won’t do the trick. Some people may feel fine standing up in meetings with the whole company, but this won’t work for everyone. In fact, more than 71% of people who participated in a 2022 study said they wanted to be involved at work without being seen.

It’s important to have a tech stack in place that encourages anonymous comments so you can make sure people are honest and open. Platforms that let people vote, take polls, and ask questions without giving their names can give shy people a chance to speak up, leveling the playing field. You won’t be able to meet the needs of your team if you don’t work to create a setting where everyone feels welcome to give feedback.

3 Return to Office Mistakes Companies Make

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2. Not having a return to office strategy that is flexible enough.

Because hybrid work constantly changes, people don’t know what to expect, even for simple things like how and when to show up. In this situation, a study during the pandemic found that 86% of workers thought that people at their company were not heard moderately or that their needs were unmet. Leaders have the chance to change this by how they set up their return-to-office rules.

We can’t expect workers to return to work in person five days a week starting tomorrow and return to the “old normal.” Leaders need to understand that the times have changed. Many people feel too much stress and worry at work because of this. And for people who take care of children, older relatives, or other people who need help at home, these requests are not only unfair, they are almost impossible.

When this happens, leaders must start from the bottom and work up to make company policies. We no longer run things from the top down. Anyone working in a vertical organization will struggle to create a return-to-office strategy that works for everyone and excites coworkers. Ask what they need if you want to know what they need.

Now is the time for bosses to pay attention to what their employees do outside work. Work shouldn’t get in the way of your personal life. It’s up to the leaders to make this change easier and keep things in balance.

3. Employees and teams not being utilized enough.

Satisfied workers tend to stick around. Even during times of instability that could lead to turnover, they aren’t always looking for their next chance. But when people feel like they aren’t being used to their full potential, which is the case for 25% of employees right now, they are more likely to put in their two weeks during times of change and uncertainty, like when they return to work.

A common cause of underutilization is not paying attention to how each employee is doing. The best way to get the most out of your team is to give them chances to get them excited. This is not a one-size-fits-all answer since it means different things to employees. Some see it as more schedule flexibility, while others see it as additional leadership or growth opportunities. Leaders must ensure that each worker is on the same page.

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Anisa is a writer who focuses on career and lifestyle topics in an effort to motivate both job searchers and employers towards greater fulfillment in their professional lives.

Reach me at anisa@jobstore.com.

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