M Moser strategists from San Francisco, New York and London explore the tools and techniques to use as we are re-entering the workplace.
Re-entering the workplace means considering more than the physical environment. Setting the right tone, developing communication and smarter working tools is key to accelerating a successful return.
Re-entering the workplace and considering individual experiences is key. Transformation will be enabled through engagement, employee trust, addressing logic and safety, and capturing emotion. Planning, empathy and clear communication can also lead even the most resistant employees towards effective change.
You can approach this by:
Taking these measures will help employees feel “heard”. This will also impact the employee experience while creating a sense of “distributed control”.
There are two things that need to be determined: the right time to re-enter the workplace and what employees are looking for when they return. These are key considerations for leaders. This will inform the change strategy and communication and safety protocols. You need to ask yourself which employees need to be in the office to get work done?
If the decision is to return to the workplace, it’s important to define user groups. Explore the profiles of these people, their teams, behaviours and purposes in the office. Consider what the business is trying to achieve with re-entering and let that guide the process.
Whether it’s through surveys, one-to-one interactions or team meetings, gathering information prior to coming back to the workplace can provide insight into employee fears and hesitations. This helps inform how to best equip your people and the workplace with the right tools.
We can enhance a sense of purpose and meaning while working remotely by using social tools to co-create beyond the chat function. By creating connection and blending our work environments, these apps can support seamless digital collaboration.
Digital infrastructure can connect people to organisations in new ways. It can bridge the gap between home and the office. We must continue to explore digital tools that support our physical needs.
Fluency and comfort in the work environment is key to unlocking potential. This will also push boundaries. Digital fluency will have a return effect on the future workplace. This will also better support choice-based working.
There has been resilience, creativity and connectivity in response to lockdown. We’ve seen innovation and new solutions. People have been given autonomy which has boosted motivation and productivity.
In short, the most successful changes happen when diverse teams come together. At M Moser we act as a bridge between these groups. We ask the right questions and we build the right mission for organisations.
Associate Director, Workplace Strategy
Senior Associate, Workplace Strategy and Transformation