The Great Return.  Just how can employers attract employees back into the office?

How to attract employees back to the office

Attracting employees back to the office is a hot topic at the moment, as the great return to office-based working is on the increase.  Moving away from a typical 9am -5pm office-based role, to a work-from-home model, has undoubtedly changed both employees’ and employers’ attitudes to returning to full time office-based working.

The design of the office has become more important than ever before as employees, now used to working from home, struggle to get back into the pre-covid office routine.  Employees are now expecting enhanced working conditions to entice them away from their home offices and back into the daily commute, something that has been missing from their daily routines for some time.  A well-designed workplace has many benefits including helping to promote a sense of belonging, encouraging social interactions, along with building a company’s culture, something that employers found difficult to nurture and develop whilst employees worked from home.

Due to the changes in the working world, employers are rethinking the role and purpose of their office space, and are shifting from the traditional, ‘functional’ role of the office, to a ‘destination workspace’ which offers flexibility, enhances productivity and generates innovative and collaborative thinking among teams.

Recently we have been working with several employers to create workplaces which focus on reconnecting employees and enhancing their wellbeing at work.  Here are a few factors to consider when trying to attract employees back to the workplace:

1. Flexible working practices:

Hybrid working is a concept which is being adopted by many employers to encourage a phased return to the office, for example, enabling 3 days working from home and 2 days in the office.  Providing flexibility for employees to work in a variety of locations became the new ‘norm’ during the Covid pandemic and is still commonly expected amount a high number of employees.  Providing a hybrid working model enables employees to have the opportunity to engage and socialise with colleagues in person on office days but also enjoy the routine of working from home if they so wish.

2. Creative collaborative spaces:

Creating an office which facilities collaborative working, from small to medium-sized meeting rooms to open spaces for larger town-hall style meetings, or training events, and communal areas for flexible working with plenty of available connectivity to plug in laptops and connect effortlessly.  Think about how you can facilitate collaborative working and provide the opportunity for collaboration both in work and social interaction areas.

3. Facilitate hybrid working:

Even with the hybrid working model it may not be possible to have all employees in the same room at the same time, and therefore it is critical to facilitate the hybrid model to help teams work to their full potential.  Creating spaces which have the correct placement of technology, screens and audio, to enable the smooth integration between virtual and office team members, will help enhance productivity and achieve positive outcomes during hybrid meetings.

4. Promote timeout to recharge:

Reducing stress and promoting wellbeing has become a key objective for employers in recent years and much research has indicated that promoting employee wellbeing, and putting a focus on supporting mental health, can help to enhance employee retention and increase productivity and creativity.  Utilising office space to create comfortable and welcoming areas for employees to relax and destress away from their desk, is a welcomed addition to the workplace.  Creating designated relaxation rooms or quiet rooms, ensuring natural light, fresh air and introduction of the natural environment in the form of plants and greenery, can all help employees to relax and recharge throughout the working day.

attracting employees back to the office

5. Provide incentives:

Many employees have become used to not having to commute on a daily basis and therefore have can be reluctant to start the daily commute routine again.  Employers can use incentives to try and entice employees back into making the commute worthwhile.  An incentive can be as simple as a free healthy breakfast or weekly team lunch, to try and get teams back together and socialising outside of the scheduled meetings.  Some organisations are even installing gyms in their offices to provide employees with free membership to promote health and wellbeing and support their mental health.

Here at Calibro, we are focused on providing a seamless workspace design experience for our clients.  From project inception to completion, our team of specialists work to transform spaces into inspiring workspaces which encapsulate company values and culture with putting employee wellbeing at the heart of the process. To discuss your design project, get in touch today


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