Help Returning Employees Feel Better at the Office

Smiling Young Business Colleagues Looking At Dog While Working

Staff may be returning to the office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re feeling normal. Among other ways they’ll have to adjust to , they may be missing some of the comforts of home. But you can help make them feel more at home with these ideas.

Bring in plants

Vertical gardens, fresh flowers, and potted plants can turn the office into a green space that will have a positive impact on the health of your employees. Access to nature, even inside, can boost productivity, relieve stress, and improve health. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that plants in your home or office can make you feel more comfortable, soothed, and natural. Researchers found that They found that the indoor gardening task lowered the stress response in participants. Taking turns tending the plants can also provide a sense of peace and wellbeing.

Multiple studies have found that plants in the workspace increase both productivity and creativity. One frequently cited study from 1996 found that students in a campus computer lab worked 12 percent faster and were less stressed when plants were placed nearby.

Let Fido come to work

Having a pet-friendly office has a big impact on productivity, especially since  workers spent so much time with their pets during lockdown. . Allowing employees to bring their pets into work during a special pet day or having an office pet can reduce stress and increase collaboration and productivity.

According to a survey by Banfield Pet Hospital, almost a third of respondents said that spending more time at home has made them consider how their pets can still be part of their workday after the pandemic, with 57% saying they’d be most happy if they could bring their pets with them when they return to the office.

Of course, before allowing your employees to bring pets to work, make sure no one has allergies or phobias and the pets are well behaved. If running dogs and cats doesn’t sound like a feasible idea for your workplace, an aquarium can have the same effect without being as disruptive .

Host wellness activities

Corporate wellness programs often offer fitness challenges, yoga sessions, and nutrition classes. You may find some online resources on sites like Udemy (www.udemy.com), which offers hundreds of affordable classes on stretching, meditation, nutrition, chair yoga, and general wellbeing. The classes would make great lunch and learn sessions, or you could look into a business account to let workers access them at home.

Consider turning your regular meetings into walking sessions. Your meetings will become more compact and efficient, and you’ll have the bonus of exercise and fresh air while you brainstorm.

Many of your employees may be feeling fragile and uncertain as they return to their work routines. This is a great time to invest in small gestures like stocking herbal teas and fruit in the breakroom, allowing headphones at desks, and upgrading the common area décor and furniture to be more comfortable and inviting. Your employees will appreciate yr effort as much as the acts themselves.

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