08 Jul BACK TO THE OFFICE: A CAMPAIGN INSPIRING YOUR WORKFORCE ON WHY THEY SHOULD RETURN TO THE WORKPLACE
According to a recent survey, two-thirds of organizations will resume in-office operations by the end of the summer (WorldatWork). However, data shows most U.S. employees (59%) want to continue working from home as much as possible once business and school closures are lifted (Gallup). This disconnect reinforces the imperative for companies to not only explain how their employees will return to the office, but why they should return. This is where a high impact, multi-media employee communications campaign can make all the difference. Be sure to incorporate OFC’s “6C” messaging framework to earn employee hearts and minds, so they’re inspired to go Back to the Office with confidence!
6 Reasons to Return to the Office
A successful workplace transition campaign will position a return to the office as a win for employees and the company. The right messaging acknowledges a more flexible and personal work culture where management treats their employees as “people who work, rather than workers who happen to be people” (Gallup). OFC’s “6C” framework hits the intersection of workforce wellbeing and effectiveness, backed by powerful research.
- Care: Workforce health and safety is a foundational commitment companies make to employees.The starting point for all employee communications is the promise of providing for their physical and psychological safety by deploying the necessary resources, processes, expertise, and transparency.
- Camaraderie: Companies are communities where social connections with work friends and colleagues are critical. In the absence of office life, employees can experience structural isolation where they feel ignored and cut-off from the business, which triggers an emotional feeling of loneliness. One study found workplace isolation can derail productivity up to 21% (Gallup), in addition to adverse effects on mental health. In-person interaction with leaders is also crucial for mentoring and career development.
- Coexistence: An office away from home helps define healthy boundaries between work and personal life. That’s especially true during COVID when many employees are forced to juggle childcare, home schooling and meal preparation with their jobs. This lack of balance can lead to exhaustion, especially since more than half of remote workers report they lack a dedicated desk, personal computer, laptop or reliable internet connection (Asana).
- Collaboration: In-person interaction is the most effective and energizing form of communication.While video meeting apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer a workable experience, delayed video signals result in stilted conversations and unblinking camera eyes are awkward to stare at (NYTimes). This suboptimal experience triggers Zoom fatigue, which is compounded by non-stop email and instant messages from colleagues who feel a need to over-communicate in the absence of in-person talks.
- Creativity: Innovation often results from unexpected pairings of employees that bring disparate views together. People from different departments often bump into one another at the cafeteria, in the breakroom or at after-work events. Unfortunately, remote work data shows employee contact with more distant colleagues outside of their inner circle has dropped by 30%, significantly reducing the likelihood of chance encounters spurring new kinds of creative thinking (Humanyze).
- Culture: Norms that unite employees around values and ways we work are best experienced in the workplace. Embedding culture in a remote environment is a difficult task that is now dependent on individual managers. Research suggests people find it hard to build cohesion and trust online as compared to in-person, where rates of cooperation rise dramatically with face-to-face meetings (Berkeley).
Plan Your “Back to the Office” Campaign with OFC
Contact Jordan Berman, OFC Founder & CEO, at email@example.com or 609-558-5309 to explore how the right campaign fusing smart strategy and compelling creative can ensure a successful return-to-office transition.
About the Author
Jordan Berman is the Founder & CEO of OFC (ofc.tv), a creative agency and video production studio that injects storytelling into employee communications and training to earn attention and inspire action. OFC lives by the words, TYPICAL IS INVISIBLE™, and resides at the intersection of pop culture and office culture to build multimedia campaigns that create buzz, drive engagement and maximize results one cubicle at a time. Clients include PepsiCo, AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Motorola Solutions. Jordan previously held senior marketing positions at MTV, Showtime, AT&T, Black & Decker, and the DDB agency. He has a BS in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell and an MBA from NYU.