Most of our clients are transitioning back to the office, at least for a few days each week. Even Zoom is requiring employees to return to the office. While this is unpopular with most employees, the shift allows leaders to reimagine the office environment and cultivate a space that nurtures creativity, collaboration, and personal connections.
Even though 65% of workers want to remain entirely fully remote (Harvard Business Review, 2023), you can make the in-person days meaningful.
Here are five ways to make the most of the in-person days with your team:
Eliminate In-Office Busywork: The office should be a hub for collaboration and innovation, not a place for mundane tasks that can be done remotely. By reducing administrative tasks in the office, people can focus on engaging with their colleagues and working on projects that require collective brainstorming.
Set Clear Communication Norms: Establishing expectations around email and Teams or Slack response times while in the office can reduce stress and allow employees to engage in face-to-face interactions fully. Consider establishing norms around which method of communication is appropriate for situations.
Encourage Meeting-Free Days: Designating certain days as meeting-free can provide employees with uninterrupted time to connect informally. These casual interactions can spark creativity and strengthen team cohesion. If an entire day without meetings is not feasible, consider dedicating a meeting-free morning.
Create New In-Person Rituals: Regularly scheduled activities, such as catered lunches, workshops, or discussion groups, foster camaraderie and create a sense of community within the office. These rituals can also provide opportunities for employees to learn from each other and share their insights.
Provide Learning Opportunities: Regular workshops and training sessions can enhance teamwork skills and increase employee engagement. These learning opportunities can also help employees understand the importance of teamwork in the workplace. Last month, we provided 16 workshops to companies, including Burnout Bootcamp, Enhancing Interpersonal and Team Effectiveness, Confidence From the Inside Out, Conquer Stress Before It Conquers You, and Moving From Conflict to Collaboration.
By implementing these strategies, leaders can create an office environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and connection. This approach can enhance the office experience, making it a place where employees want to be rather than a place they must be.