In the post-pandemic world, many employees have become so used to working at home that many refuse to return to the traditional office environment. The phenomenon is so pervasive that it even comes with its own sociological term: “The Great Resignation.”
However, employers are finding that production, ingenuity, and team efforts are just not what they used to be when their employees were all covered by a single roof. This has a direct effect on a business’s bottom line. That said, some companies are beginning to offer up inventive perks to lure people back to the office, one of which is giving out awards like glass trophies to deserving employees.
Says the professionals at EDCO.COM, a business awards company, custom engraved glass awards always add visual excitement to your motivational awards program while strengthening your company branding. It also helps motivate employees to be better team members and to show up to the office every working day in a post-pandemic environment.
But what other ways are employers attempting to motivate their employees to make a return to the office in 2023 and beyond? According to a new report by Globest.com, here are just a few of the ways businesses are attempting to fill up their office spaces again.
Based on a significantly positive reaction by their employees, businesses that offer childcare at the office can help with solving the problem of enticing workers to come back to the office. During the annual CREW Conference, which recently took place in Atlanta, having childcare in-office is said to help compensate for time lost and for constant stress on employees as businesses make the adjustment of returning to the office post-pandemic.
A recent survey concluded that over 65 percent of participants claimed that avoiding the stressful morning commute was one of the major barriers to returning to the office. This was followed by maintaining a work/life balance, which 60 percent of participants claimed was preventing them from returning to work.
By avoiding the morning and afternoon commute, workers were able to save an average of one hour per day, or so the CREW panel stated. That’s time well spent on being productive instead of angry and frustrated in stop-and-go traffic.
Hybrid Work Model
It’s because of this precious hour that’s saved when you don’t have to make the morning and late-day commutes that the hybrid work model is said to be the leading preference for today’s post-pandemic employee. CREW conference members pointed out that while tech offices were more successful at managing remote work, legal offices were less successful. The same could be said of the building and design trades and manufacturing trades, where being on-site is of paramount importance.
What this means is that employers can take other measures to entice their paid talent to return to the office, including subsidizing their parking fees in part or paying the entire fee. Some companies offer free parking for 90 days and, from there on in, a significant discount. Yet, other businesses will offer 90 days of free lunch or free pizza on Fridays.
Complimentary shuttles via public transportation, flexible schedules, commuting subsidies, scooter and bike parking, and even new programs that can provide autonomous taxi service are some of the most popular perks being utilized today, especially with those companies that are veering away from offering in-house childcare which they view as a major employee distraction.
Vibrant and Exciting Work Locations
According to Globest, central business districts are the most desired location for company headquarters. That said, over 20 percent of the companies surveyed stated they are actively seeking out a new location for their offices. To be located in a vibrant and exciting location that contains coffee shops, a variety of eateries, shops, and bars is much more preferred by employees as opposed to the stale and uninspiring office park.
It’s reported that the traditional suburban office park is having a rough time attracting new tenants in the post-pandemic era. Many of these existing, now empty buildings are being repurposed as “innovation zones.”
It’s also said that employees who have been served with formal “return-to-work” mandates have typically not performed better when compared to their remote environment production. In fact, a survey indicated that employee engagement among those workers who were forced to return to the office environment dropped by a staggering 26 percent. Their ability to perform at their best also decreased by 20 percent on average.
In the final analysis, it’s clear that the post-pandemic world has ushered in a new era of workplace habits that must be geared toward employee well-being rather than the company’s bottom line. While employees are willing to head back to the office under the right circumstances, such as new perks that offer free lunch and free parking, it appears that return-to-work mandates are failing for those required to sit inside a stale, uninspiring cubicle for eight hours per day. A vibrant, inspiring working environment, inside and out, should be considered a requirement for employers in the 2020s and beyond.
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.