When Some of Your Employees Are Resisting Your Company’s Return to Office Policy

What should you do if some of your team members still don’t want to return to the office (RTO) after your company has mandated it? As a manager, aligning organisational policies with employee preferences can be a challenge. Here’s how to handle your team’s concerns with empathy.

Show compassion. Engage in open conversa- tions with your team about their concerns with returning to the office. Listen attentively and empathise without getting defensive. Remem- ber, it’s possible to show understanding for their situation while still emphasising the benefits and necessity of your RTO policy – both for the organisation and individual employees.

Be collaborative. Ask your team members what accommodations they need to make this transition smoother. Consider logistical chal- lenges like commute times and family responsi- bilities. Flexibility in start and end times might be a practical solution, allowing some to avoid rush hour and others to manage school pickups more conveniently.

Make coming into the office worthwhile. Ensure that time spent in the office is engag- ing and productive. Crucially, avoid having employees come in only to spend their day in virtual meetings. Instead, create opportunities for meaningful in-person collaboration, learning and team-building. Consider using a budget to organise events that enhance the office experi- ence, fostering a stronger community.

*This tip is adapted from‘When Someone You Manage Isn’t Following the Return-to-Office Policy’ by Rebecca Knight.

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