How To Coax Your Employees Out Of Their COVID Caves And Back To The Office
It’s no surprise that many people have anxiety about returning to the workplace. Reasons are as varied as individual personalities. While many people are getting vaccinated, many are not. Those with underlying health conditions are likely more anxious than those who don’t have known health concerns. Some people prefer the routines they’ve established working from home. And, let’s face it, some people simply are not as cautious as others.
As the country attempts to ease into a new, new normal, some businesses are calling employees back to work. Yet some employees have gotten pretty cozy in their COVID caves and are reluctant to leave.
Be Aware Of Mental Toll Pandemic Has Taken
There is no doubt many people are suffering mental anguish. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and even as we attempt a cautious return to the workplace, it’s important to be aware of the mental toll the pandemic has taken. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “as of June 2020, nearly 41% of adults in the U.S. had reported struggles with mental health, while 31% reported symptoms of anxiety or depression and 26% reported trauma or a stressor-related disorder related to the pandemic.” https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/20/why-some-are-averse-to-return-to-normal-post-covid.html So, you’ll have to coax gently yet effectively
Ideas For Safe Re-entry To Work Place
Surprise, surprise, I have a few ideas! First and most importantly you want to communicate safety and cleanliness in the workplace. Whether employees will be spending a couple of days in the office each week or longer, it’s imperative that they feel safe regardless of who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t.
For starters, how about mask holders for computers so everyone can keep their mask handy. Hand sanitizers at every desk and by the water cooler. Personalized water bottles are great too. We don’t want to revert back to individual plastic water bottles that contribute to environmental pollution, but individual personalized water bottles that can be refilled are popular and attractive.
In addition to a plentiful supply of easy-on-the-hand and nose hand sanitizers, phone sanitizers are a big plus to add to each employees welcome back kit, as are anti-microbial badge pulls, pens and mousepads. Also, there is talk of hybrid working – 2 or 3 days in the office/2 or 3 days at home. With that employees are going to need mobility. You can provide anti-microbial tote bags to carry things back and forth, journal books to keep notes handy, blue light blocking glasses, soap sheets, stress relievers.
Create Fun Signage
To welcome employees back to the office you can create signage that has a sense of humor without being dismissive of the seriousness of the situation. A lighthearted yet smart approach can help put fears at ease.
The stress of going back into an office is real. To create a greater sense of calm and peace either in the office workspace or home space, essential oils and diffusers can set a peaceful tone, or you can supply them with soaps and bath salts to help manage the stress.
We are all making our way into new territory. Let’s be aware of the many different reasons that cause anxiety and provide a work environment that communicates understanding. If you would like more ideas or are ready to get started with a welcome back kit and/or signage for your employees, give me a call.