Who would have guessed that people would be so excited at the prospect of going back to the office? Going back into the office is a sign that things are finally getting back to normal—that things will be okay. Returning to work after a three-day weekend isn’t exciting but returning after a four-month lockdown is cause for celebration. It’s going to be like going back to school after summer break. We will be excited to see friends again, adjust to a new schedule, and eventually fall back into the groove. Without a doubt, there will be a mix of trepidation and joy surrounding that first day back. Here are some tips for welcoming employees back after COVID-19 to ease the transition.
Set a WFH Policy
While there will be people excited to come back, you’ll have just as many employees who are still wary of the office. Be ready for this with a work from home policy, if you don’t already have one. Be accommodating to those who aren’t ready to come back for whatever reason. Set a policy that brings people back at a rate that is beneficial for them and the company.
Draft a Welcome Back Email
Working at home leads to the most relaxed work environment imaginable. People work in casual clothes from the couch. Send out an “onboarding” email to everyone, welcoming them back and reminding them of company policies, such as dress code and cell phone usage. Use that space to update everyone on any new policies that are in place as well. Keep the tone warm, friendly, and positive to keep the excitement level high for as long as possible.
Give Welcome Back Gifts
Everyone likes to receive presents, so surprise your team with something nice. A little something waiting for everyone on their desks will add to the excitement. Don’t go crazy but giving out some company swag like a new travel mug or mouse pad is enough to tell your employees that you missed them.
Plan a Virtual Company Event
Is there a better way to welcome employees back after COVID-19 than with a company event? With all the restrictions, a virtual event may be the only immediate option. Be creative. Give everyone a chance to catch up and share their on pause experiences.