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Back to the office: ten practical tips for managers ... and employees


The return of all the teams to the company's premises can be a source of stress and tension. Experts give us their

As the rules for telecommuting are relaxed, many employees are making their way back to the office.

A recent study by the firm Empreinte shows that a majority of them are ready to return, but they also express many fears.

How to make the return to the office go as smoothly as possible?

Experts give us their advice.


1. Don't go too fast

“Returning to the site, some employees had already taken the habit.

The real novelty is the return to the team ”, summarizes Nathalie Christiaen, employee experience director at Malakoff Humanis.

The role of the manager is essential since it is up to him to make every effort to "recreate conviviality and the pleasure of being together", adds Nathalie Christiaen.

However, on this point, the experts are unanimous: to fulfill this mission well, you have to "take the time".

At Malakoff Humanis (10,000 employees), two full days are dedicated to discussions and workshops on the subject of return.

This re-entry is done in the same way for all but in two stages: 1200 managers this Wednesday, before the employees on June 16.

2. Let employees speak

Jean-Christophe Villette, founder of the firm Ekilibre, insists: after a year of unprecedented crisis, it is essential to "let the employees express themselves".

“It is not only a question of addressing the question of the number of days teleworked to know if one does one or two”, expresses the psychologist of the work.

"And it's not enough to ask them

how are you doing


They need to be able to talk about how they felt about the crisis and coming back to the office ”.

This can take place through collective discussion times, and individual interviews.

“With a maximum of listening, recognition, encouragement, respect.

And by finding adaptation solutions if necessary, ”emphasizes Jean-Christophe Villette.

3. Identify tensions in teams

No employee has experienced the health crisis in the same way.

For managers, the management of particular situations is a major issue, which can turn into a challenge.

“Not everyone has been teleworking.

Some of the employees have never left their office and they sometimes have resentment for others, what is more when they have been entitled to compensation ”, recalls François Cochet, president of the Federation of psychosocial risk workers ( FIRPS).

Others don't like telecommuting and don't want to do it.

“You have to take into account that they will be more exposed to noise if they now work in a small space.

And make sure that they don't come across as old-fashioned vis-à-vis others ”.

As for those who like teleworking and who will continue to do so… They should not be excluded from certain information.

In addition, it may be wise to probe their motivations, believes François Crochet.

“If it's because they save on transport time, that's a good reason.

But if it is because of the working conditions on site or the management conditions, it is worrying ”.

4. Manage through trust

For Latifa Hakkou, the time is no longer for authoritarian management but for "management by objective" or "by trust".

More than the hours worked, it is the result and the quality of the work carried out that must take precedence in the evaluations.

5. Make you want to come back

Latifa Hakkou, President of the National Association of Directors of the Work Environment

(Arseg), advises to take advantage of this unprecedented return to offer new services to employees.

This can involve "a more varied catering offer, with healthy products", or services related to well-being or health.

“86% of French people made it a priority during the crisis,” she argues.

“Training, conferences” can be offered by employers who do not have the means to invest in telemedicine booths.

Latifa Hakkou also imagines “home coaching services”, or cultural services such as setting up a library.

The main thing is that "the office becomes once again a place of sharing" which builds employee loyalty.

It is also an element of attractiveness for future employees.

6. Don't forget the basics

A broken coffee machine, an elevator that gets stuck between two floors, a lack of staff or products in the canteens… Beware of these everyday hiccups that can destroy efforts to convince employees to return to the site.

"For someone who has not set foot in the office for 9 months, this can be a source of great tension," warns Latifa Hakkou.

The specialist also advises to anticipate the gauges and the presence in the premises via an application to reserve your space and presence.

A click and collect system can also be useful for canteens: "If the employee stands in line for 30 minutes and the dish they have been offered is not available, he will want to go home!"



1. Take the lead

The majority of employees are happy to find their premises and recognize that being together is essential for team cohesion.

For those as well as for those which the return to the company anguish, only one watchword: to take the initiative to instill the pleasure of being together again.

“Take advantage of the return day to reconnect with your colleagues.

Offer lunch with them, in the canteen, on a terrace or in a restaurant.

It's an opportunity to talk about everything, about your outings, your next vacation, and not necessarily about work, ”advises Latifa Hakkou.

2. Dramatize

This return to the office coincides for you with an urgent file to be completed and you are not in the mood to communicate?

Do not panic.

“Touring the premises to greet colleagues only takes a few minutes and can have very beneficial effects,” adds Latifa Hakkou.

And if you prefer to style the headphones to isolate yourself from noise, just explain it: colleagues will understand it, and maybe even imitate you.

3. Review your organization

The noisy open space environment is not always ideal for performing certain tasks.

With the new working methods that often include days at a distance, Latifa Hakkou suggests dividing her agenda in two.

“Work that requires concentration, save it for telecommuting days.

Anything related to interactivity, meeting, exchange: it will be for the office ”.

4. Chat with your manager

It is apprehensive to some, and relationships can sometimes be strained with a team leader.

Yet Jean-Christophe Villette of the Ekilibre firm, particularly insists: "For the employee, there is no successful return to the office without time for discussion with his manager".

"Those who live far from their workplace can request the adoption of new schedules to avoid traffic jams," suggests Latifa Hakkou. Not waiting for the manager to come to you can be seen as a gesture of openness to build mutual trust.

Source: leparis

All business articles on 2021-06-10

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