Working from home has many benefits. We all recognize them today, and they’re not the “widespread myth” they were three years ago.
However, there is a consensus that we miss the office too. Connection, collaboration, decision-making are all points of day-to-day organizational life that we know have been negatively impacted.
But it’s uncomfortable to talk about “coming back”. We know that many of the benefits of working from home are good for employees and many of the benefits of working in the office are mainly good for the organization. The latter end up affecting employees more indirectly, which makes a return less “desirable”.
Now that an announced return seems more certain, it’s very important that all the conditions are in place for everyone to “want to come back”. Some expect to keep flexible working, others want improvements in the way the workplace works, is organized and adjusted to this return. They want a fundamentally better work experience, because they don’t want to give up the good things they had at home.
In this scenario, leaders will have to demonstrate that the return alleviates the lack of connection and collaboration found in remote work, and should speed up meetings, joint deliveries and informal social connections. They must show that they understand that the circumstances of working from home are different, and they must listen deeply to what employees bring to this return, as it certainly comes with the need for it to be different.
But it’s not just the leadership’s responsibility.
As there is no point in going back to “worse”, it is essential to return to an office that is actually better, a return that must be supported by a truly integrated welcome plan that reveals the new value proposition in all its glory.
At the moment, the companies that are best prepared and most aware of this reality already have many ideas in mind and written down to encourage the return. Initiatives related to their building, new and flexible ways of working, sharing and connection models, new benefits and the process of change that awaits those who return.
From what we’ve seen, the companies that are doing this best have added a common thread to this new “welcome”… a narrative supported by an activity that gamifies the process while encouraging employees to experiment and give feedback on everything new they’ve encountered, positively contaminating everyone’s state of mind so that the return is “aspired to” rather than rejected.
During this period, the team gives consistency to the learnings through internal communication and boosts the action plan through a single dynamic that is activated | deactivated during the return cycle. At Immersis we have been using our Chase Game, an online game based on a mobile application installed on the smartphone by the employees themselves.
In this dynamic, participants are told when the game starts. The game remains “live” for several days, with moments of activity where multiple challenges are launched during the return days according to the plan. As it’s not necessary for everyone to be playing at the same time, the stimuli contribute to constant participation but don’t always overwhelm the same employees.
The logic is spectacular, because only at the event and at the time indicated for the start of the game, is access given to the list of challenges to be carried out, totally customized to the company. At that point, you have to make choices, work as a team and publish the success of your missions internally.
Some examples? Find Mr. Filipe from maintenance and take a photo with him “screwing” you; Take a cultural break in the social area and show us your reading; Prove that you’ve already signed up for one of the webinars returning this week!
With this kind of dynamic, you can ensure that the action plan is known, experienced and shared. That collaboration and celebration take place. That the new value proposition becomes collective consciousness.
Employees receive salary and benefits from the company, but also opportunities for growth, socialization and fulfillment. To continue to ensure that everyone gains from their work experience in 2022, it is essential to welcome one of your most valuable assets.