Promo Industry Workers Need Support As They Return To The Office
For the last two years, promo industry workers (who could) shuffled back and forth between the office and home. With hybrid options, some still are. Now, many industry employers are bringing their workers back into the office.
There was the Great Resignation and the Great Retirement, but now there’s the Great Return.As workers head back to the office once again, they’ll need more support than ever before.
In 2019, before the pandemic, only 4% of employed people in the U.S. worked exclusively from home. By May 2020, the number rose to 43%, according to Gallup. With loosening COVID restrictions and declining cases, executives are busting open their office doors.
According to security firm Kastle, office occupancy in the U.S. reached a pandemic peak of 40% in December, dipping because of Omicron and then rising again, reaching 38%in March. Giants like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Google and Ford Motor have already begun bringing their employees back into the office.
Cynthia Harlow, psychologist and founder of Personality Max, says, “Most of the workers who are now reporting back on site had to go through a period of change. They have been on remote work set up for a long time. Their minds are already used to this kind of work environment.
“Most of all, they still have the innate fear of contracting the virus. As they transition to their on-site work, there are a lot of worries and apprehensions. Bear in mind that COVID-19 is still very much in our midst. Safety must be the topmost concern.”
For some workers, returning to the office is more bitter than sweet. In a 2021 McKinsey study of more than 2,900 people, one-third of those who had just returned to the office said going back had negatively affected their mental health.
Ronald Williams, HR consultant and founder of BestPeopleFinder, says companies that care about the mental health of their employees tend to have more motivated teams and lower turnover rates.
“Employers need to provide training to managers and other leaders to help them identify emotional and psychological problems within teams and address them correctly. This will also help keep the organizational climate free of stress and unnecessary competition.”
According to a survey by The New York Times, there were many reasons why people preferred working at home. From extra hours of sunlight and sweatpants to quality time with pets and escape from workplace culture, home is where the heart—and the office—is.
Daniel Cook, HR director at law firm Mullen & Mullen, suggests three ways to support employees returning to the office. Cook suggests helping employees with childcare, offering gym discounts and even paying for gas. “This is one of the main perks that employees enjoy as they do not have to pay for fuel for their cars at all,” says Cook.