Getting Employees Back Into the Office Post-Pandemic

Getting Employees Back Into the Office Post-Pandemic

As the world makes headway and advances (and continues to do so) an evolving workplace is granted to be not only a naturally-occurring process but a very much necessary one. 

We as a society –  as a planet, rather – have faced collective upheaval in recent years, especially with the tumult of the pandemic. Approaching three years later, we’re beginning to see the next stages of how different environments function regularly; what is to be the new normal?

Pre-pandemic, working remotely was often, arguably, a luxury. The moment it was observed to be a feasible, regularly-occurring function of a workplace (or even an option), new possibilities began to open up. 

As strict COVID-19 regulations begin to lift and companies now weigh the best route to take in terms of requiring employees to return to the office, it’s commonly observed that many people enjoy and prefer the option to work from home (Chicago Booth). Following an initial taste of what healthy work-life balances could look like, many employees now ask themselves what would make the office more appealing to return to five days a week? 

Change is bound to happen, and it is most definitely a new age in not only everyday functions, but ways of thinking as well. 

It is suspected that as Millennials and Gen-Z begin to occupy a majority of the workforce, an emphasis on work-life balance is stressed more and more. It’s not just a preference, it’s becoming an expectation. 

An article from CNBC states that, “Executive excitement about returning to the office may suggest old-school thinking about employment,” and that it may be considered a “symbolic step in post-pandemic life” (Alex Sherman, 2022). 

Post-pandemic corporate America is likely changed forever, and it’s our job now to be forward-thinking in our approach back into the office. 

It seems as though giving workers a reason to want to be in the office is one of the best approaches to rallying people back in. What if your workplace could make just as big of a contribution to you as you make to it? 

The L.A. Times expands on this utopia of a work environment in an article about the L’Oreal West Coast headquarters.

At L’Oreal headquarters in El Segundo, they aim to lighten the load of employees’ everyday chores and will take care of tasks such as filling up their gas tanks, grabbing their laundry, or picking up their dogs from day care. Other tasks that employees might need completed are also valid requests, fulfilled for $5 an hour. 

This is all in efforts to free up employees’ time, allowing them to channel their energy into their jobs. Their workplace also houses various amenities such as a restaurant, a juice bar, and a fitness center (Roger Vincent, 2022). Talk about a work-life balance. 

Not every company can afford to provide such amenities for their employees, and that’s okay, but the point that needs stress is this: employers need to be giving their workers a reason to show up (aside from salary). 

Working from home is something that many employees were hoping to stick to post pandemic (Chicago Booth), so perhaps it’s ideal that there be a hybrid work environment. 

Many demographics experience difficulty in maintaining their personal life and need flexibility honored in their work life. For example; parents, those who rely on public transportation, those living paycheck to paycheck, caretakers, and more. 

It’s extremely important that a work-life balance be honored by employers, and this would likely boost retention rates and employee attitudes. In turn, the company is likely to see this reflected in their performance numbers.