After more than fourteen months, the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment is coming to an end. As the Covid-19 vaccine program continues at pace, many businesses are looking to resume office life, and they want their employees back at their desks. Goldman Sachs has told staff to “make plans to be in a position to return to the office” by June 14, while Google, one of the first major employers to send people home at the start of the pandemic, is accelerating its back-to-the-office plans. But not all employees share their bosses’ eagerness. Close to a quarter of U.S. workers say they would consider quitting, should they be required to work in an office before all employees have been vaccinated. So, how can employers allay employees’ fears and encourage them to return?
Some organizations are resorting to extreme measures. Daily cash prizes of $10,000 and all-expenses-paid trips to Barbados are just a few of the incentives CoStar Group is offering staff who are vaccinated and in the office. Others are using more modest tactics – gift cards and other small tokens, subsidized meals and discounted Uber rides – to win over workers. Fortunately, however, there are more pragmatic and (cost) effective ways to ensure that your teams feel genuinely comfortable about picking up their pre-pandemic routine again.
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