Return to Work Strategies for Employers in 2023

March 15th, 2023
/
10 mins to read
Return to Work Strategies for Employers in 2023

Discover effective strategies for employers to facilitate a smooth return to work for employees post-pandemic, ensuring safety and productivity.

Key Highlights:

  • Since the epidemic, employee and employer communication challenges have increased due to the increased adoption of remote work
  • Employers should "LEARN, GRAB, and ADAPT" to changing work environments. 

Hybrid Work in 2023

The pandemic has caused enormous changes in the way we work, and the concept of a hybrid workplace is now more essential than ever. A hybrid workplace is one in which employees have the choice of working from the office or remotely, depending on their preferences and job requirements. As organizations strive to return to in-person work, it's critical to have strong return-to-work policies in place.

Employers must be active and proactive to enable a smooth transition back to work, regardless of whether their employees return to the office or continue to work remotely. There are some perspectives that employers will examine in bringing "change" while retaining "work productivity" in the methods that will be adopted in the next months.

According to  2021, HBR Research on Hybrid Work describes four hybrid work models to assist organizations, particularly foreign ones, in deciding whether to be virtual or office-centric. The image below is captured from HBR Research 

Every model is founded on two variables. 

  1. The primary duties performed by each team are more relational (variable and incorporating spontaneous knowledge sharing, creativity, and cooperation) or transactional (based on set routines and procedures)? 
  2. Does the organization have employees in several nations or only a few?

The image above has specified task context and internationalization for businesses, organizations, and corporations to apply their work model and see how their employees respond to the “changes”. These strategies can easily apply to any organization trying to improve their “hybrid work” and “hybrid work environment” for their employees. 

Large-Hubs Organizations: This is an Office-based model. It's suitable for circumstances in which people must collaborate on relational, knowledge-based, or creative initiatives. While teams will be required to often be present in significant regional hubs, some remote work is permitted.

Hubs and Satellites: The office is important here as well, but unlike the previous technique, which relied on main hubs, this approach connects them with smaller satellite offices around the world to meet the needs of an even more global workforce.

Global- Virtual: This model is the most remote-enabled. Employees collaborate on a global scale, but they usually meet in person at least once a year.

Distributed: Work can be done remotely in this case, but the workforce may remain localized to a single country or region due to factors such as talent availability or cost. 

As appealing as it may appear to go all in on virtual, it is vital to weigh the pros and cons of both sides. Building an international workforce, for instance, firms now have a more diverse pool of talent that also raises administrative obligations and requires them to comply with varied employment and tax regulations. Businesses and their employers must select the model that best meets their needs and preferences as well as those of their employees. 

Return to Work Strategies 

Employers, whether they are working hybrid or entirely remote, can consider measures to go forward and improve their environment. The advantages of meeting in person make it worthwhile for the employees to take time off and research how their employers and coworkers collaborate or operate in different teams. 

Here are return-to-work strategies that will incorporate more of a hybrid work model where we see a higher chance of growth for any model to easily: 

Flexible Work Schedule 

A flexible work schedule that allows for both in-person and remote work is vital in a hybrid workplace. Employers can establish a hybrid schedule that allows workers to work from home a few days a week and come into the office the rest of the time. Employers can also allow their employees to customize their work schedules based on their preferences.

Communication

In a hybrid workplace, effective communication is crucial. Employers must communicate with their employees frequently to ensure that they are informed of any changes or updates to work policies or schedules. Employers should also foster an open communication culture in which employees feel comfortable expressing their issues or preferences for working in-person or remotely.

Develop a Safe Work Environment or Work Arrangement 

In a hybrid workplace, employers must put their employees' health and safety first. They should adopt safety measures in the workplace, such as social seclusion, regular sanitization, and mask-wearing regulations, as well as give their staff the tools and resources they need to work remotely.

Effect of the Pandemic on the Strategies 

The pandemic and after-pandemic effects have employers creating strategies to bring their employees back in person. The strategies that have been working are company-based events and coworkers planning out after-work dinners or parties amongst themselves. But those don't help employers improve their ways to “actually” get employees back into the office.

Employers like us have made it simpler for employees to balance work and life to lessen "the impact". Here are some tactics that companies should think about implementing for their staff to lessen the impact and effect of a pandemic that is gradually affecting us less and less and returning to normal. 

Prioritizing Success

Prioritizing Employees and the team-building exercises that the organization considers providing for its staff to IMPROVE productivity and outcomes are the foundation of success. This is the basics is to bring meetings in person or hybrid leaving it a choice so employees can meet. Which does create IMPACT on your coworkers. Here are a few ways to make the word “success” have different meanings in your organization. To stand out more is to bring activities to life.

Increasing Connectivity

The interconnection in your organization is focused on "Creating Value and Mission" to preserve and strengthen those ties. Every employer in every company or organization is created uniquely and has their distinct way of conceptualizing the train that serves as their support while they are in work mode.

Below find the Unique and Similar ways of success and connection-building strategies to bring back your employer:

Prioritizing Success 

  • Clear and Concise Communication 
  • Flexibility 
  • Training and Upskilling 
  • Employee Well Being 
  • Evaluation and Adaptation 
  • Mentoring and Leadership Development 
  • Technology and Tools 
  • Recognizing their Achievement 

Increasing Connectivity 

  • Clear and Concise Communication 
  • Flexibility 
  • Team Building Activities 
  • Employee Feedback Involvement 
  • Technology and Tools 

As you see above there are some similarities to supporting and balancing success and connection-building at work. These strategies can help grow your employers in a work environment. 

Key Learnings:

Here are more resources with more strategies for RTO:

  1. Have Ultimate Return to Office Kit: This creates a HUGE impression on employers and employees on how the company treats it as their own.
  2. Sending a Return to Office letter to all organization employers: The letter is to inform the return to the office. Litespace has even included its template to provide support to those who are looking into a hybrid work model. 
  3. Employers looking into Return to Work Solutions for their organization to learn more in-depth about Hybrid Work Model.
Aqsa Aamir
Aqsa Aamir

Aqsa Aamir is a Digital Strategist at Litespace and has a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management. Aqsa has experience in several areas of business and digital strategy. Aqsa's proficiency in creating hybrid work tactics to offer guidance in content planning. Her current focus is on hybrid work models and culture building in marketing. 

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