Managing the process of getting back to the office

Remote appointments, virtual onboarding and the lack of personal interaction in offices are key factors in recent employee dismissals. For the past two years most employers have been unable to run their normal recruitment processes and onboarding in person. Yet in-person meetings and onboarding are opportunities for the individual and the business to understand the ethos of one another, and to manage behavioural expectations and performance.

Working together in an office allows for new hires to observe their peers and managers, to develop working relationships with one another, receive informal training, and to understand how their peers deal with tricky situations.

Team dynamics will almost certainly be different where the individuals have never met in person and only meet infrequently for formal meetings, in comparison with those developed in person. Although managers may expect the individual to perform to the same standards as a colleague who worked in the office, it must be recognised that working remotely made it more difficult for managers to observe behaviours and training needs, or to speak informally with new hires to rectify issues.

Issues may arise with new hires who have only ever worked from home being unaware of the office culture and commercial needs of their employer or the behavioural standards required of them. Businesses may therefore wish to consider providing induction for all employees returning to the office to set out expected behavioural standards and codes of conduct and to provide a “buddy” for new hires brought in while the business worked remotely.  121 HR Solutions can assist in developing a bespoke induction programme. Contact us to discuss further on 0800 9995 121.

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