It’s been a long few months, and many businesses are ready to get back into the office and get back to normal. While many organizations were able to pivot their workers to remote successfully, most were able to achieve this transition with the intent of it being temporary. As businesses find themselves coming bringing teams back into their workspaces, what happens if their employees don’t want to come back? 

Here are some ways to handle team members who aren’t ready to go back into the office.  

Ask why:

There are a lot of reasons someone might not want to stop working remotely. Maybe their spouse lost their job, and they’re trying to cut costs by not commuting. Maybe they’re concerned about their health and safety. Perhaps they need to be home because their child has to do remote learning in the fall. Some of these may be surmountable and easy to address – if someone is concerned about coming back into the office because they don’t want to get sick, you can talk about how the business is taking measures to keep employees safe. If it’s something that your office can’t control – like what the school district has mandated for fall classes – you can have a conversation about what that role could look like for the time being. Can you continue to allow that employee to work remotely? Can they work on a hybrid schedule? Is there a solution that works for everyone? 

Offer incentives:

For some people, the idea of coming back into the office and having more space and less time in the same place all day is in itself a huge incentive. But is there anything else you can offer employees coming back into the office that can make them feel safe, excited, and empowered? Work with leadership to figure out what’s appropriate to get employees fired up about coming back; you should also ask employees directly what would get them excited about working at their desks again. 

Offer solutions:

HR can help you find out which resources can support your employees. Organizations may be under an obligation to offer accommodations to certain employees under the Americans with Disabilities act. In other cases, your employee may be eligible for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act or state leave laws. Your HR department is an excellent resource to reach out to with employee questions and concerns. 

It’s a new age of work, and everyone is getting more creative and solution-oriented. Finding and keeping top talent remains a priority through uncertain times when even more cost-cutting measures are being implemented. We can help you find quality talent to help you deliver on your business’s mission and make an impact when it’s needed most. Get in touch with our team today. 

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