The past few years have brought plenty of changes to the workplace — one of the most notable continuing to be shifts in the way we work and interact with our colleagues.

No longer are we running into each other in the break room, chatting over a cup of coffee, and commiserating about our long commutes. Instead, we’re connecting with our colleagues through Zoom, Slack, and email.

While the benefits of remote work are undeniable, some employees wonder if a return to the office will negatively affect their work-life balance.. Employers, on the other hand, are keen to get employees back to pre-pandemic work arrangements — though they do feel some resistance.

Luckily, there’s a happy middle ground.

In this article, we’ll explore seven motivators for employees to work from the office, highlighting the benefits of collaboration and social interaction in the workplace.


Quick Summary: Here are several questions we’ll offer answers to in this article:

  • Should you bring employees back to the office?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of employees being in the office?
  • What are some motivators for employees to work from the office?
  • How can you get employees excited about working from the office?

Let’s begin.

Should You Bring Employees Back To The Office?

To be in the office or not to be in the office? That is the question!

As an executive, you know that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a company and its culture. Some employees thrive in an office environment, while others prefer to work remotely or even on the go.

According to a survey conducted by PwC, 58% of employees said they missed in-person collaboration and socializing with their colleagues. Additionally, 43% of employees expressed eagerness to make new friends at work. On the other hand, 45% expressed concerns about the time they’ll need to spend getting to work.

graph showing that employees want to reunite with their coworkers

Ultimately, it’s important for employers to listen to their employees and consider their concerns and preferences. If you’re considering bringing your employees back into the office full-time, it’s important to think about both sides of this decision.

4 Benefits of Employees Returning to the Office

While remote work has become increasingly popular over the past few years, there are still many benefits to having employees in the office. These include the following:

benefits of employees returning to the office

More opportunities for collaboration

Collaboration is a cornerstone of any successful business. Employees working together in person can foster better communication and teamwork among them.

In fact, research shows that in-person meetings lead to more effective collaboration than virtual meetings do. Specifically, face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than those sent by email.

When employees are in the office, they can bounce ideas off each other, brainstorm together, and work on projects in a more cohesive way. With OfficeRnD Hybrid’s meeting room booking system, booking a meeting room for your team is just a few clicks away. That means more time for collaboration and less time spent searching for available spaces.

Camaraderie and a sense of belonging

The workplace is a place where you can meet new people, collaborate, and build relationships. Being in the office allows employees to feel like they belong and are part of something bigger than themselves.

coworkers in an office setting

A recent study found that 51% of workers who don’t feel like they belong at work are more likely to quit their jobs within the next six months. This shows just how much employees value that sense of community.

Separate work from personal life

A physical separation between work and home can lead to a healthier work-life balance. This is especially true for those who are always on the go, either traveling for work or working remotely.

If you have an office space in your home, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s happening at work when you should be focusing on family matters.

It also makes it harder for employees to leave their worries behind after work every day. Instead of relaxing with their families at night, they might be thinking about how their boss will respond if they don’t finish that report by tomorrow morning — and that’s not good for anyone!

Better resources

In the office, employees have access to better equipment and facilities. For example, if they need to use a computer or printer in order to complete their work, it’s easier if they’re in the office than if they’re not.

Being in the office can be especially helpful for employees working on projects that require specialized software or hardware that’s not available at home.

Additionally, some companies provide employees with free food while they’re working — another perk that can make being at work more appealing than staying home all day.

4 Challenges Employees Face When in the Office Full-Time

Having employees work exclusively from the office has several drawbacks that employers should be aware of.

downsides of employees being back in the office

Commute time

Returning to the office requires employees to commute, which can be time-consuming and costly.

Long commutes can add stress and fatigue to employees’ daily routines, potentially affecting their productivity and work-life balance.

Distractions

Offices can be noisy and distracting environments with constant interruptions from colleagues and phone calls. This can impact an employee’s ability to focus on — and therefore complete — their work.

Higher costs

Renting office space, paying for utilities, and providing supplies can be costly for businesses. It can also add to employees’ expenses with commuting costs and parking fees. Difficulties with work-life balance

Commuting to and from work, dealing with office distractions, and working long hours can make it difficult for employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. When employees are overworked and stressed, their physical and mental health can suffer, leading to burnout and reduced creativity and motivation.

Meeting in the Middle With Hybrid Work

There are numerous benefits that arise from employees working together in person. But there are also some significant downsides of employees working only from the office. For the best of both worlds, there’s hybrid work.

an office space

Hybrid work models provide the ideal solution for modern-day challenges. Allowing employees to work both in-person and remotely can help them strike a balance between the benefits of face-to-face interaction and the flexibility of working from home.

This approach not only benefits employees but can also lead to increased productivity and cost savings for businesses.

And hybrid work software such as OfficeRnD Hybrid can help employees bridge the gap with features designed to streamline communication, connection, and collaboration.

Its advanced collaborative scheduling features make it easy for employees to schedule in-person interactions and come to the office for the moments that matter.

The software is designed to simplify the desk and meeting room scheduling process, so there’s no need to worry about double bookings or missed meetings.

two employees working

With OfficeRnD powering up hybrid work, employees can enjoy the best of both worlds — the flexibility of remote work and the unmatchable benefits of in-person collaboration.

7 Return-to-Office Employee Motivators

Encouraging employees to return to the office can be a challenge. After all, why would they want to return when they can work from the comfort of their own home? Here are some ways to entice employees to visit the office for in-person collaboration:

Appealing Office Spaces

Creating a visually appealing, comfortable, and functional workspace can help employees feel excited to come to the office. Invest in ergonomic furniture and hot desks to make your workspace more comfortable and functional.

You have to transform your office space to a vibrant place where employees want to gather,socialize, and collaborate.

With OfficeRnD Hybrid’s advanced desk booking software, employees can easily find and book the ideal desk for the day. They can also invite their teammates to join them at desks near theirs, encouraging collaboration and social interactions.

Sense of Community

It’s important to emphasize the value of social interaction and how offices can provide that. By creating opportunities for employees to interact socially, you can foster a sense of community and make the office a more inviting place to work.

OfficeRnD Hybrid makes managing your office space for social events, break rooms, game areas, and team-building activities effortless. It also allows you to see who will be in the office for social events like happy hours, game nights, or potlucks.

Flexibility

Don’t be strict about when employees need to be at the office. Rather, give them the freedom to decide when to come into the office. Conduct surveys and based on their feedback, deploy the right hybrid work policies. By allowing employees to have more control over their work schedules, you can build trust and create a more relaxed work environment.

Perks and Incentives

Providing perks and incentives can be a great way to entice employees to come into the office. These could include snacks and drinks in the break room, gym memberships, or even free massages.

motivating employees with the right incentives

Celebrating Milestones and Achievements

Create a celebratory culture by celebrating personal and professional achievements. For instance, you could arrange company-wide events, team outings, or personalized rewards for hitting certain milestones.

Personal Growth and Development Opportunities

Providing opportunities for employees to learn new skills and grow professionally can help them feel more invested and valued in their work. These could include offering training programs, mentoring opportunities, or even tuition reimbursement for further education.

User-friendly Technology

If you want to promote in-person collaboration, you need to provide your workers with the right technology to ease the process.

OfficeRnD Hybrid offers collaboration-boosting features that allow employees to:

  • Plan their office visits in advance and see who’s in the office on any given day on a beautiful Schedule page
  • Easily make desk and meeting room bookings and make them recurring
  • Invite up to 15 “Favorite” colleagues and send them customized invites to come to the office for the moments that matter.

And more. Check out OfficeRnD Hybrid’s collaboration-boosting features here.

Tips to Get Employees Excited About Being in the Office

There are a number of tips you can use to get employees motivated to be in the office. We’ll delve into some of them below.

employee motivators to bring employees back to the office

Explain Why

Employees are more likely to be excited about working in the office if they understand the purpose behind it. Be transparent about the benefits of being in the office, such as improved collaboration, networking, and social interaction. Explain how being in a physical workspace can help your employees achieve their goals and contribute to the company’s success.

Listen to Feedback

Encourage open and honest communication. Ask employees what they would like to see in the office, such as more natural light, comfortable seating, or better technology.

If possible, implement their suggestions, and show them that their opinions matter. This can help create a sense of ownership and investment in the office environment. In addition, learn how to be a better collaborative communicator.

Get Creative With Work Arrangement Options

Flexibility can be a great motivator for employees. In fact, a flexible working arrangement is the third-biggest motivator for finding a new job.

4 employees having a lunch

To create a positive attitude toward coming into the office, offer a variety of work arrangement options, like flexible schedules and remote work. This should be balanced with some in-office work to reap the benefits of working in person with your team.

This is why hybrid working is so effective — this arrangement promotes a good work-life balance, increases productivity, and enables companies to save on office space and overhead costs.

Seamlessly Unite Your Team In Person With OfficeRnD Hybrid

As companies consider the transition back to the office, it’s crucial to prioritize employee concerns and preferences. By providing flexible options and catering to diverse work styles, employers can create a supportive and productive work environment that promotes engagement and well-being.

It’s time to start thinking about how we can transition back to the office while maintaining the positive aspects of remote work. And there’s no better way to do this than with OfficeRnD Hybrid’s collaboration-boosting features.

OfficeRnD Hybrid offers a hybrid work management solution to help companies smoothly and successfully transition back to the office while maintaining the benefits of remote work.

The best part?

You can start at no cost, with no strings attached!

Begin your transition today and get started for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid.

FAQ

What Does “Returning to Office” Mean?

“Returning to office” refers to the act of going back to a physical workplace, such as an office building, after a period of remote work or working from home. This term has been widely used since the COVID-19 pandemic began, when many companies shifted to remote work to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Do Employees Want to Return to the Office?

The answer to this question isn’t straightforward, as different employees have different opinions on returning to the office. Some employees may be eager to return to the office because they miss the social interaction, collaborative work environment, or separation of work and home life. Other employees may prefer remote work because it provides flexibility, eliminates the commute, and allows them to better balance their personal and professional lives.

Recent surveys and studies suggest that a significant portion of employees would like to have some form of a hybrid work model, which combines remote work and in-person work at the office.

How Do You Announce a Return to Office?

Announcing a return to office requires careful planning and communication to ensure that employees feel informed, safe, and supported. Provide a clear timeline for the return, ensuring workplace safety through measures such as mask mandates and social distancing policies. Highlight the benefits of returning to the office, and provide flexibility to accommodate your employees’ needs and preferences.

Asen Stoyanchev
Senior Content Marketing & SEO Specialist | OfficeRnD
Asen is passionate about flexible working and the future of work. He firmly believes that work flexibility directly impacts one's health and well-being. When he's not writing, Asen spends his time devouring business literature, hiking, and parenting.