Now that the holidays have passed, it’s time to return to reality and mentally prepare for the return to work. In the two years since the pandemic, our world has changed dramatically. While we continue to live in a world of social distancing, face masks, and virtual everything—relationships, work, events, and celebrations, among other things. As we begin 2022, let us pause to contemplate how we may assist employees in becoming emotionally prepared to return to the office.

Since the restrictions on COVID-19 are relaxed, a growing number of firms are encouraging their employees to come to work. Many employees are naturally concerned about the transition.

When employees returned to work, their greatest concern was the possibility of getting the COVID-19 virus. Others are cautious about using public transit and are experiencing separation anxiety as a result of leaving their family, particularly their children, at home.

What can you do as an HR leader to reduce their concerns about returning to work?

We list three important factors to consider as you prepare for a safe and “back to work” workplace:

1. Plan ahead for the next outbreak of COVID-19.

An agile business continuity plan with versions for multiple scenarios will mitigate effects of new COVID-19 variants we expect to arrive in the Philippines this year. Ensure you have the tools you need to provide peace of mind for your employees whether they continue to work from home or at your site locations.

2. Rethink your culture and how it applies to every employee.

Company culture is increasingly important to employees. Be careful in your approach and keep the long-term impact on the employee experience in mind. Recognizing generational differences is crucial. Develop a strategy to address any imbalances for every employee, whether they are remote, hybrid, or in-office workers.

3. Revisit your perks.

To have happy employees in 2022, compensation and benefits plans must evolve. Employees prefer flexibility, a focus on wellbeing, and acknowledgement as their careers advance. Create an employee value proposition to articulate the experience for your teams. 

It’s important to remember that what other companies are doing isn’t at the heart of any effective strategy. It is about establishing what is best for your organization and your people. You can begin by identifying your employees’ workplace preferences and how they can support your business objectives. 

We wish you the best of luck as you navigate the future of your workplace, and invite you to join the HR game changers community where more insight is available from HR leaders throughout the country. We are rooting for you!