Recently, some executives have pushed hard for employees to return to the office. They worry that without real facetime, productivity and feelings of cohesion will suffer. However, after working from home for a year, many workers simply don’t want to go back. In recent weeks, people from Cathy Merrill to Tim Cook have felt real pushback from employees who prefer the new status quo.
The unspoken contract between employers and employees has changed drastically during 2020 and 2021. Experts are advising taking a new kind of approach when it comes to communicating with and retaining workers. Part of this is due to new government policies. For example, since compensation has increased for some federal contractors, private employers may also need to increase the pay packages they’re offering.
What’s more, increasing the benefits on offer can make a difference, too. That’s one of the key areas that employees consider when accepting a job, or looking for a new one. Something like offering paid vacation to employees can allow them to recharge and engage in some self-care. After a year of staying put, getting away for a week or two can make a real difference in workers’ lives. Some experts are even suggesting offering a bonus to people who will take vacation time now. It won’t just help them: it will help the hospitality and event industries, too.
Understand that things are changing rapidly. There will be a dance of giving and take over the next year or two. People on both sides of the employer-employee equation are figuring out what works for them and what doesn’t. When people resign, as some inevitably will, don’t burn that bridge. Some of them may be willing to come back in six months or a year. If they’re a good worker, it may well be worth having them back at that point.
The year 2020 was unlike any in living memory. Companies will need to adjust and work towards a new normal. This is more easily done by working with workers than against them. Be patient during this time and understand that finding a happy medium is possible. It may require outlying more money and making changes initially, but productivity is the most important thing.