To keep operations going in 2020 many businesses were forced to shift to a work-from-home model but what happens when your employees have grown accustomed to working in pajamas and don’t want to return to work? It’s a challenge that companies are beginning to face as businesses begin to build back. Employees are now ranking quality of life and their overall mental health higher on the list of priorities over the 9-5 daily grind. 

According to a recent Canadian survey, 33 percent of employees currently working remotely said they would quit if forced to return to work.

With these alarming statistics, it can be a daunting task for management teams to start bringing their workers back to the office especially if they don’t want to. Preparing your employees to come back post-pandemic can pose multiple challenges, number one being the list of demands employees now expect you to meet before returning to work.

“Employers will likely bend over backward to keep their A players happy, but if their B and C players start making too many unrealistic demands they’re more likely to look for replacement talent to fulfill those roles. That’s where we come in.”

Dave MacDonald, President, Better Together Group

So, what does this mean for your business? Do you continue paying rent for an empty workspace for a longer period? Do you consider adopting a hybrid work model? Or do you force your employees to come back, and run the risk of affecting your corporate culture? 

Putting Safety First 

Creating a safe work environment will be a key deciding factor for many of your employees preparing to return to work. Management teams are going to have to work overtime to ensure safety procedures and protocols are in place before anybody steps foot back in the building. In some cases extreme measures may be necessary to bring employees back safely. Employees may demand amped up safety procedures such as performing rapid testing, proper PPE, spaced out and guarded work stations, or enhanced COVID screening methods. All of which can be a very costly affair. If companies are going to be spending time and money making sure all of these safety measures are being taken, they will want to make sure that the employees they’re bringing back, are going to be key players. 

Opportunity to Re-evaluate Roles

Business owners are likely going to be spending an excessive amount of money to ensure that employees can return to work safely, but organizations won’t want to spend money on employees who don’t want to be there. Your business model could have completely shifted in a year and therefore some of the current roles you employ may be slowly becoming obsolete. If you have employees who are meant to return to a role that is no longer necessary you may have to consider not bringing those employees back to the office at all, especially if these employees have a growing list of unrealistic demands. This opens up the door to create new roles that fit more seamlessly with your adapting needs, and a chance to level up some of your existing talent, trading B players in for A’s. That’s where The Better Together Group comes in! We have a fully stocked talent pool of specialized candidates ready to fulfill these newly created roles. We take the time to properly screen potential candidates that will fit seamlessly into your corporate culture, while you focus on bringing back the rest of your A-team.

Provide Empathy and Understanding 

It’s important as an employer to practice empathy and understanding when it comes to your employees, and their mental health. It may surprise you that even some of your top talent may have a hard time adjusting to the idea of coming back to the office. The change of pace that comes with working on a relaxed schedule versus an over-stimulated work environment surrounded by people may ultimately impact their performance at work so you may want to consider bending a little to meet the needs of your key employees. At the end of the day you want to keep your employee’s mental health and stability in mind as you create a path for an easy return to work.

When is Too Much, Too Much?

Unfortunately, many employers are being pinned against the wall trying to manage pivots within their industry and also handle employee demands as businesses start to look at bringing people back to work. According to INC. Magazine, the demand for talent is going to make working from home a competitive and differentiating feature for a lot of job seekers. Companies have looked at adopting a hybrid workforce model, to balance the needs of employees and industry demands, but this certainly has its pros and cons. If you have top-level employees who know how to successfully work from home then a hybrid model might be the answer for you. But, if a majority of your workforce is struggling to be productive from their home office, you may have to enforce a transition back to work.

Dealing with the aftermath of a pandemic will probably be the most challenging event a business will ever have to experience in its lifetime. And ultimately, employers are going to have to make some tough decisions over the next few weeks and months. They’re going to have to decide whether they want to meet the needs of certain key employees or put the success and productivity of their business at the forefront and onboard some new talent. 

The Better Together Group is Your Best Resource

With over 75 years of experience in niche market hiring we can assist you with hiring the right employees during a time of economic disruption. We have connections inside your industry and also a pool of candidates with transferable skills that are ready to fill new and existing roles. We have the resources available to help you onboard new employees safely and efficiently as you begin to open your office doors again.