Many employees are finding it difficult to return to their workplace after working from home for so long. Working from home may have saved people hours daily just by foregoing the routine of getting ready in the morning and commuting to and from work. Old habits and the time spent going into work were most likely replaced by new habits and the time saved by staying at home.
Although there is controversy as to how long it takes to form habits, a more widely accepted study by Phillippa Lally would suggest 66 days or longer depending on the habit itself. It may be safe to say that if your employees have been working from home for more than 3 months, they have formed new habits and are now acclimated to a new way of doing their jobs in less time.
In-Office Programs to Motivate Employees
To begin bringing people back to work, employers may implement a gradual re-entry program that only requires employees to come into the office a few days each week. This is certainly a plausible approach, but can a business still offer additional incentives to encourage workers back to the office full time or to ease the tensions of re-entry?
Options for Office Sanitization
Upon returning, people will be looking at their workspace differently than they did pre-COVID. A good percentage of the population will be vaccinated in the next several months, but germs and their transmission will be at the forefront of our minds. We recommend eliminating or minimizing this concern by having common touchpoints wrapped in NanoSeptic or another oxidizing, self-cleaning material. Make sure there is plenty of hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes for people to use. Some break room equipment can also be operated touch-free. Currently, apps allow employees to use snack vending machines, coffee brewers, and water coolers without touching them. New utensils and condiment dispensers can also distribute their items one at a time and untouched.
Office Coffee Programs
Another attraction to get employees back to work may be to improve the coffee and allied products you currently offer. Most offices have room for improvement in the roasts of coffee and additives they have. Other companies may consider switching to single-cup brewers which accommodate a wide selection of different blends and coffee flavors. For the tea lovers, an office can provide Teaja’s loose-leaf teas where people create their own fresh tea bags. By making some of these changes, the break room will feel and smell like a coffee house. Nothing is better than a great cup of coffee or tea in the morning except for a delicious FREE cup at the office.
Corporate Dining, Water, & Beverage Programs
For companies with cafeterias or that allow food deliveries, meals can be delivered to a locker. Employees simply use an app to order and pay for the products that are available from either the building’s café or from outside meal providers. Customers receive a text with the time the product is delivered and a QR code to allow them access to the appropriate locker. This grab-and-go concept provides employees the flexibility of ordering what they want, when they want it, and the convenience of picking it up from a secured locker at work.
Free snacks and cold beverages will appeal to returning employees, but the company will also benefit from this perk. In addition to morale, productivity increases when people receive free items because employees don’t need to leave the office to buy these products. Employees also work better when they are not distracted by and can satiate those mid-afternoon hunger pangs.
Office Vending & Micro Market Solutions
Finally, you can offer employees valued coupons that will work on vending machines or at a market kiosk. Coupons are inserted into the bill acceptors just like money. If you want to give employees a weekly stipend, they would receive weekly codes. They simply enter these codes onto their USConnect app to initiate and use the funds.
In conclusion, there are many ways to entice employees to come back to work, and A.H. provides all the solutions mentioned above. Once your workforce returns to the office, you can re-evaluate these services to see if they are needed. We would venture to say that the positive morale and productivity they produce will earn their spot as a mainstay.