How to Prevent the Return to Offices from Being an Emotional Roller Coaster

By: Liz Fosslien and Mollie West-Duffy
March 18, 2021


As more and more people get vaccinated against COVID-19, leaders and employees are starting to look ahead to a potential return to offices. Many organizations are considering a hybrid work model, in which teams come into the office a few days a week or a few key days a month. For employees who have felt isolated and siloed during the pandemic, the return to the workplace will be exciting. For those who have taken to remote work or have lingering health concerns, it will be anxiety-inducing. For many, it will be both. Simply put, the return to offices will be emotional.

As a leader, your role is to give your people as much certainty about the future as possible. And while no one really knows what the world will look like six months from now, there are a few steps you can take today to make your people feel supported and safe ahead of an eventual return to the workplace.

  1. Be transparent.
  2. Surface concerns early on.
  3. Discuss expectations.
  4. Involve your people.
  5. Highlight what your teams will gain with in-person time.
  6. Present the change as an experiment.

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