COVID-19 Update

The Right Questions to Ask About Returning to Work

Instead of only focusing on how to return to work, employers should look at many potential problems going forward as we make our way out of the pandemic.

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The future of work has been a frequent topic of discussion across many industries this year as companies evaluate the best ways to bring employees back to the office.

Related: 4 Operational Boosts to Build Big Value in Your Company

Forbes discussed this topic in an article and argued that companies are focusing too much on solving this particular problem and not asking enough questions about other potential problems that could arise.

Approaching the return to the office with the right question

In March, Prudential’s “Pulse of the American Worker Survey” showed that 26% of workers plan to look for a new position when the pandemic begins to fade, and nearly four million people quit their jobs in April, which is the highest in 20 years.

Employees have much more control now and companies should not be discussing whether or not to return to the office, but how to properly structure the company’s work so that it accommodates their employees lives and aligns with the company’s objectives.

Organizations that can provide flexibility and connection to work to their employees will come out of the looming resignation surge stronger by being able to attract the most talent.

Arriving at a solution that works for all

Leaders should try to think about the value of a job, beyond just the paycheck, from a worker’s perspective and in terms of lifestyle and interests.

For example, many employees and candidates are likely wondering whether they can live anywhere and still work for the company. The ability to live in a lower-cost area can be very advantageous to employees along with the flexibility to pick their kids up form school in the afternoon or go for a quick run outside before the sun goes down.

Employees are also more interested in knowing that their work matters and that they are bringing value to the organization. People tend to be more loyal to an organization where their work is being recognized and they can see the impact it is having.

What is a CEO to do?

Be sure to define the value you want to offer your employees, like working from home, flexibility, advancement opportunities, career development, and various others.

Communicate these values to your employees and see where you stand regarding them. See what brings them both motivation and satisfaction and use surveys as well.

CEO’s will also need to figure out what they can reasonably offer their employees while at the same time meeting their goals as the organization must always be aligned with business objectives.

Organizations must realize the issue is not simply just how to return to work, but how to better connect the organizations needs with their employees needs as well.