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10 Messages to Encourage Staff Back into the Workplace

POSTED ON

27th June 2022

Office employees have become accustomed to working from home and with good reason. For many employees, the change has been for the better. But that doesn’t mean it is the best option – either for organisations or for the team members themselves.

Many businesses are adopting a hybrid work style, encouraging employees to spend part of their week back in the workplace. Businesses have been taking different approaches, some allowing full flexibility and others implementing set days.

But some team members may be less enthused about taking that step away from full-time working from home. Many CEOs have made missteps when informing teams they are expected to return to work, resulting in considerable backlash.

“You may not make everyone happy, but you can make sure to reduce the likelihood of backlash and, in some instances, use the moment to improve your company’s reputation,”

LK Klein, Director, Research, Gartner. 

It’s important to remember that 55% of employees perform better when they are given flexibility over where, when and with whom they work. While 36% perform better working 9-5 in the office.

Businesses must find the right balance. And where encouraging staff back to the workplace is concerned, this starts with communication.

A Jabra report found that employees’ productivity and well-being benefit most from having more autonomy to choose where they work. So if employers want their teams to spend more time in the office, the best place to start is to make them want to return to the office by reminding them of the benefits.

Messages to Encourage Staff Back into the Workplace

1. Connection to culture

A positive company culture of support, development and fun makes us feel good. Remote working can break that culture-sharing connection.

Consider your organisation’s purpose, values, and history. Company identity provides context behind your return-to-work plans.

Employees working in companies with well-defined cultures are more likely to engage with their work. Company culture is more open to deviation when working from home as factors outside of work are much more present in an employee’s day-to-day, away from the established routines of an office environment.

Making sure your messaging reflects your company culture and focuses on the positive is key.

2. Collaboration

Collaborative working relationships increase job satisfaction. Video calls simply can’t replace the collaboration that happens in the workplace.

75% of remote workers cited collaboration as having suffered the most with employees working from home

When home-working, interactions must be scheduled or typed out. This deters team members from asking quick questions, or in cases where they do ask, it may be less likely that they receive a quick response, deterring them further.

Instances, where a colleague may be struggling with a task, are easy to remedy when another team member notices and can offer them tips that will save them a lot of time.

Good collaborative relationships are vital in a positive working environment, making it easier for people to get help. This improves not only the productivity of the company but the success of individuals.

Business team collaborating on a project in the office

3. Common Purpose

Sharing a common mission is a key part of job satisfaction. Being around colleagues in the workplace fosters and nurtures thins sense of sharing.

A team’s overall sense of company mission can start to get lost the more that they are kept separate. Coworkers having the opportunity to engage with one another helps them stay aligned with your business’s core values.

When employees share a common purpose within the workplace they are happier and that morale is infectious.

4. Work-Life Balance

Homeworking can make switching off harder – both mentally and electronically. This leads to a risk of employee burnout.

In a Monster.com survey, 69% of employees said they were experiencing burnout symptoms whilst home-working

Many employees are finding themselves more likely to be distracted during work hours, and so extend their work hours in order to complete tasks.

And with the convenience of technology, team members could get a notification for an email or message at any point, disrupting their personal time, that could instinctively prompt them back into performing work duties.

The structure of a separate workplace environment, even for a few days a week, will help people keep boundaries between their work time and personal time.

5. Homes Are Not Designed to be Workspaces

Bedrooms, dining tables, noisy pets – whatever the WFH setup, it can rarely provide the facilities and work-conductive environment that a workplace can.

There’s a good reason why coworking spaces have been cropping up and successful businesses. Our homes are just not built for purpose, and although some lucky people have been able to set up a dedicated home office space, even this may not provide the same opportunity for productivity an office space gives.

Slow internet with a lack of support should the connection be compromised, a lower quality home printer, a lack of ergonomic equipment, not to mention the day-to-day distractions of employee’s personal life, and the list goes on.

6. Networking

Networking has always been a key element of career progression. Back in the workplace, staff can do their networking magic. WFH they simply can’t.

While virtual networking is possible with video conferencing software like Zoom, it has also introduced a new type of burnout. In a study asking participants about their responsiveness on video calls:

26% of participants were occupied with other activities during meetings and another 27% were trying to pay attention but struggling.

These statistics show that relying solely on digital networking and meetings is not enough for employees to truly engage with their peers and industry leaders.

7. Creativity

For many people, success and satisfaction in their job and career comes from being creative. Working back in the office inspires and sparks more creativity.

A Lucidspark survey found:

1 in 4 remote workers said that working from home has hurt their creativity and 26% of managers agreed.

46% of the remote workers who felt less creative while working from home cited less face time with their team as a reason.

22% said the drop-off in creativity was because they could no longer brainstorm visually as a team.

8. Isolation

Homeworking can be lonely and isolating. The workplace often provides crucial social connections and fun. Small interactions like saying good morning to a coworker, general small talk as you work and taking a coffee break with a colleague for a quick catchup are all mood boosters.

Even just smiling at a colleague lowers one’s own stress, releasing happy hormones equivalent to having 2,000 bars of chocolate. And when a person smiles at you? It’s hard not to smile back, smiling is contagious.

Face-to-face interactions make us feel better, and this is lost when working from home.

9. New Recruits

A new starter will want to be in the office making connections, absorbing knowledge, and establishing a presence. New starters often learn by watching how their colleagues interact with their workloads, as well as each other.

This is particularly vital for those who are transitioning from education into a job.

Overall, there’s a good chance new starters will find it more difficult to get the job done if they can’t see how other people are doing it. And in turn, their team will have a harder time pinpointing where they need to put more time into training if they can’t see when their new colleague is struggling.

10. Getting about!

Physically going into a workplace is good for people’s health and wellbeing – it provides opportunities for exercise, moving around and using your body.

IS YOUR OFFICE PREPARED FOR HYBRID WORK?

If your workspace hasn’t evolved to suit the hybrid work model, then it will not only lead to the frustration of your employees but also hinder productivity.

In an environment where different team members are in the office at different times, finding colleagues to collaborate with, key contacts and a free desk to work at are more critical than ever.


With our partners, Space Connect, you’ll find a game-changer for your workspace optimisation needs. Download our free workplace reopening guide:


To explore our workspace management solution options for your workspace, get in touch with us today.