What do your employees expect when they return to the office?

November 25, 2021

The fight against the virus continues, and more and more companies are returning to the office and experiencing the new normal.
How do employees experience returning to the office? Do they want everything to go back to the way it was before the pandemic?
The answer, of course, is no. Do you know what they expect? Read the article and be well prepared to welcome your collaborators without disappointing their expectations.

Here is what we will cover in the article:
1. Separate home life from work life
2. Different requests based on age
3. Improve the workplace experience
4. Conclusions
5. Takeaways

How is the return to the office going for employees? Has something changed? The feedback seems good for now.

In a survey of 1,000 employees, 95% said they were happy to be back in the office. Working in person, for the moment, is still essential.

This is certainly important for employers. What we must not lose sight of is that while employees need to work on-site, it is equally necessary to make the office a pleasant place to go.

Survey respondents said their companies should do more to improve the workplace.

Let's see what else employees think about returning to the office and where your company can improve to create a work experience that meets the expectations and needs of your employees.

1. Separate home life from work life

An interesting fact that emerges from the survey is that 46% of employees want to separate home life from working life.

When asked “What were the advantages of returning to the office?”, The majority of respondents said that the main advantage is being able to separate working life from home life.

Not everyone at home may be lucky enough to have room to use as a study or office. And even then, the chances of the phone ringing, children demanding attention, or having a package to be picked up are very high.

Within the home environment, being able to separate the professional world from the personal one is very complex. The temptation to do several things at the same time risks significantly reducing focus and this can also lead to making mistakes.

Still, 44% of employees said that another benefit of face-to-face work is being able to collaborate with colleagues in a simpler, more direct, and easier way.

39%, on the other hand, also see friends in their colleagues, whom they want to attend even after working hours.

These statistics suggest that employees want to make connections with colleagues. They want real interactions, in person, not through a screen.

A final aspect that should not be underestimated is that employees believe that working in person protects mental health (working in full remote, especially for those who live alone, could have implications on mental well-being) and promotes career growth.

2. Different requests based on age

An interesting topic related to face-to-face work concerns the age factor.

In fact, according to the generation they belong to, the benefits and preferences change.

Generation Z, for example, of working in the presence appreciates the possibility of continuous and direct confrontation with managers (43%). The motivation may be that younger employees, being at the beginning of their careers, need more feedback about their growth.

As for Millennials, Generation X, and Boomers, they find it easier to relate to colleagues when they are in attendance (45%).

Regarding learning and coaching by more experienced colleagues, Generation Z and Millennials see more opportunities (respectively 37% and 34%) than Generation X (21%) and Boomers (14%).

3. Improve the workplace experience

A final topic at the center of the debate concerns what employees would do, if they were in the shoes of the boss, to improve the experience in the workplace.

As we said at the beginning of the article, the fact that many people continue to prefer face-to-face work over remote work does not exempt executives and CEOs from worrying about making the workplace a pleasant place to go.

As evidence of this, many respondents said there are many areas where their employers can improve.

44% of respondents said they would like their companies to implement health and vaccine checks to be safe and feel truly protected.

32% of employees, on the other hand, ask for a better system to coordinate working hours with their colleagues, to avoid the presence of too many people in the office at the usual time.

Finally, 29% want to return to work using contactless technology, to limit contacts and feel safer.

4. Conclusions

Working remotely during the pandemic has changed the way workers view the physical workplace.

The majority of employees were happy to return to work face-to-face, however, people also believe that the workplace experience could be better.

This data suggests that while people are willing to work locally, they expect their employers to have systems to keep them safe and ensure peace of mind.

5. Takeaway

We leave you with some practical tips that you can experiment with on your company to ensure that your employees, upon returning to attend, feel protected and serene.

1st Takeaway

Ask for feedback or survey your employees. Find out what are the benefits, according to them, of working in person.

This will allow you to know exactly what implementations you can do to make your employees happy to be back in attendance.

2nd Takeaway

Based on the age of your employees, consider that they may have different goals or needs.

Try to build a dialogue with each of them: create a personalized card and agree with them the goals they want to set themselves and how long they plan to achieve them. You will show that you are a boss who cares about the needs of your employees, and you will inspire them to do better.

3rd Takeaway

Start building the workplace of the future today. This translates into adopting the tools and technology your staff needs to be productive and happy while in attendance.

Nibol can help you develop a contactless workplace, organize common spaces and manage the flow of people. If you want to find out how to do it, click here.