Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees were forced to work remotely. As a result, the advantages of working from home became evident to many. When restrictions were lifted, employers faced resistance from employees who preferred to continue working from home.
For employers, having employees working from home can create issues in communication and productivity and lead to poor working relationships. In other cases, an employee’s ability to fulfil their duties will rely heavily on their physical presence in the workplace.
How do you get your employees back to the workplace?
Firstly, in Australia, businesses have the right to refuse requests for flexibility from their employees based on reasonable business grounds, such as impacts on other employees or customer interaction. Many employees will likely come into the office if requested, however some may object. If these employees are forced into coming into the office, the workplace may be negatively impacted as a result, so it is always best if you can make your employees want to come into the workplace.
Having a positive culture that emphasises teamwork, communication, and employee well-being can make employees feel more engaged and motivated to come to work. On the other hand, if you have a poor workplace culture with high levels of stress and poor communication, employees can feel disengaged and avoid coming into the office.
No two employees or workplaces are exactly the same, so the reasons for employees wanting to work from home may be different. Simply asking the employees what would bring them into the office can be insightful and highlight small changes you can easily make to improve the workplace.
Focus on the Benefits
Working from home has its advantages, but it cannot fully replicate the benefits of working in a physical workplace. In-person communication is one such benefit that cannot be replicated. By designing the workplace to facilitate face-to-face communication, not only can employees be encouraged to come into the office, but it can also improve relationships and boost team morale.
Getting Our Help
ER Strategies can assist clients to review their situation and develop specific strategies on an individual client basis. Call us on 1300 55 66 37 for our help.
Non-clients can call us, or contact us, to discuss how we can best help your business as we move through these unprecedented times.