Leading Your Team Back to the Office

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Help your team transition back to the office.

Since the beginning of lockdown, you and your team have gradually become used to the new “telework normality“. Only to now have to adjust right back again to a new “social distancing office normality“. Unfortunately, it won’t be as easy as flipping the light switches back on after weeks of absence. Such a transition needs to be well-planned. When establishing physical safety protocols, but also when helping employees prepare mentally and transition back to their previous engagement level. Remember to take into consideration the following three aspects when reacclimating your staff to the workplace.

Give plenty of advance notice

The pandemic has forced thousands of companies to shut down offices with little advance notice. While the sanitary crisis justified such an abrupt action, returning to the office can and should be better prepared. Many of your staff have had to juggle work, children, homeschooling, and managing the household. They will need a certain amount of time to sort out childcare and other personal matters that affect their daily life. But they will also want to understand what to expect when back in the office.

Dare to dialog about negative emotions

The weeks back from confinement and full-time remote work will be one of the hardest challenges for leaders. They will need to navigate new social-distancing security measures while addressing various psychological concerns from employees. You should expect and prepare for looming tension in the air. While some people will be relieved to be back, others will feel anxious and apprehensive. Redefine your new sense of normal and stay positive.

Regroup and reaffirm your common culture

Team building typically takes the form of pleasant encounters among employees. While social distancing will make such informal group events more difficult, you can introduce new methods to get employees mobilized around common values and goals. Great leaders will turn a crisis into an opportunity. Focusing on increasing employee engagement will enhance loyalty and productivity in the long run. Full article : inc.com

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