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You probably remember March 2020 like it was yesterday. Seemingly overnight, professional sporting leagues cancelled their seasons, schools closed indefinitely, and most businesses sent their employees to work from home. While we’ve experienced many ups and downs through the various waves of the pandemic, many people are still working from home.
Now, as vaccines become more accessible, workplaces are starting to consider what returning to the office could look like, how their hiring process will work, and what changes need to be implemented to keep all employees happy and healthy.
The past two years of working from home have forced many people to reevaluate what’s important to them in the workplace. Priorities have shifted, lifestyles have changed, and some things that used to be tolerated are now no longer acceptable.
While many are eager to return to life as usual, there are some things that living through a global pandemic has taught us that should be carried on as we transition out of the pandemic. Because of this shift, employees will expect more in the workplace. Here are some things you should consider before asking your team to go back to in-person work.
For the most part, working from home gives employees a lot more flexibility in their workday. This is something that many people have grown accustomed to and now value in their careers. Some employees would even consider leaving their job if their company decided to go back to working entirely in person.
This means that companies looking to hire should consider offering and promoting a flexible workplace to attract potential employees. For example, if you work in sales, recruiting top-tier salespeople for your business will mean offering your candidates competitive options for a hybrid work environment to attract them to work for your business over another.
The stress, anxiety, loss, and fear that have been prevalent over the last two years have taken a significant toll on the mental health of many individuals. Although the push for better mental health resources in the workplace started before the pandemic, it has now been amplified.
Many workers are now prioritizing their mental health and how their work contributes positively or negatively to it. In many workplaces, working around the clock has become the norm. This, however, can lead to increased levels of anxiety, depression, and burnout. With a stronger focus on mental health, many employees will no longer tolerate being overworked and underappreciated.
Mental health resources should be made available to your employees. Whether this means adjusting your benefits plan to accommodate for therapy or offering mental health days, employees will expect their employers to value mental health as highly as they do physical health.
The shift from in-person to at-home work has allowed many employees to see the pros and cons of both options. For example, while at-home work allows you to cut your commute and work in your PJs, you miss out on the human interaction and structure that in-person work gives.
A report from McKinsey & Company showed that after experiencing both sides of the coin, 52% of workers are looking for a hybrid work model post-pandemic. This means being able to work from home some days and going into the office others.