How to Get Employees Excited About Returning to the Office

employees excited about returning to the office

As more businesses start returning to the office, employers need to create incentives to get employees excited about making their return. Because returning to the office is uncomfortable and nerve-wracking for some employees, it’s more important now than ever for employers to take new approaches to how employees interact with the business.

Having actionable ways to get your teams excited about returning to the office is possible with the proper techniques. We’ve compiled a guide to help you get your employees’ spirits high and return to the office with a new approach and a positive attitude. Let’s dive in!

Should My Company Create New In-Person Rituals?

Companies can offer in-person rituals to motivate employees to return to the office. Rituals define your employees and your company’s culture and describe any repeated act or custom integral to your business.

Many of the best incentives and techniques explored in this article account for in-person rituals that you should consider when devising an incentive program to streamline the transition back into in-person work.

What Do Employees Say Motivates Them Most to Return to the Office?

Let’s face it: returning to the office after finally adapting to remote work is a significant shift for many of your employees. Given this drastic change, companies must offer various return-to-office incentives to convince employees that returning to in-person work is worthwhile.

However, many employers get stuck when brainstorming the best incentives to meet employee expectations. Below are some ways to incentivize your employees to make the transition back into the office less stressful.

The Importance of the Lunch Break

When offering employees incentives to return to the office, mealtime is everything. Lunch breaks and provided food help employees stay energized and excited about the work your company produces. In fact, we found that 97% of office professionals believe that lunch breaks improve their workday, even though most employees do not take regular lunch breaks.

eating lunch with coworkers

Despite some benefits of remote work, not having an allotted lunch break makes employees less likely to take necessary breaks throughout the day. 14% of employees never take lunch breaks, while 1 in 5 take breaks on 2 or fewer work days. By renovating your lunch break system, you can encourage employees to return to the office positively.

Free Meals, More Choices

Lunch breaks are only the tip of the iceberg of meal-focused back-to-office perks. Offering employees free meals takes a massive burden off their shoulders so they can focus on adapting to in-person work without worrying about spending on food or packing their lunch in a hurry every morning.

1 in 3 employees states that meal benefits would entice them to return to the office more often, while 61% are somewhat likely to switch businesses for comparable jobs with free meals included. Because of this, businesses can face a massive risk when not offering some type of meal benefits.

One way to maximize your meal benefits program is to offer employees free meals from the restaurant of their choice. Take a new approach to your meal planning strategy as you invite employees to return.

Transportation Reimbursement

Remote work means that employees haven’t had to spend big on fuel and transportation costs. Returning to the office can be a financial burden, especially for employees who rely on cars and ride-sharing services to get to and from work.

If employees have to make significant commuting changes, offering transportation reimbursement for fuel and transport costs can help them build the motivation necessary to return to the office with a positive outlook.

Gym Membership

Having an office gym or providing a gym membership to local facilities is one of the top back-to-office perks you can offer as an incentive to employees. An employee gym membership provides numerous enticing benefits, including the following:

Free Courses and Training

A popular incentive among employees returning to the office is offering free courses and training programs. These courses are helpful for your ambitious workers and provide a more personalized approach to re-adapt to the workplace environment.

Free courses and training can also separate your employees into smaller groups and offer in-person training at different scheduled times for each group. For instance, some employers have started offering skill-based training split into various sessions over one week, with employees signing up for week-long courses to get more comfortable returning to work.

Flexible Spendings Accounts (FSAs)

Offering employees Flexible Spendings Accounts (FSAs) is an excellent way to show that you value your employees’ well-being and future. If you don’t offer FSAs, consider adding this option to your system to incentivize employees to return to work. FSAs will allow you and your employees to save on taxes and feel more secure in your finances while working your hardest.

Babysitting Services

The shift to remote education during the pandemic means that many children are at home all day studying while their parents work remotely; however, as people return to the office, parents are concerned about how much childcare will cost.

Providing your employees with babysitting services or additional financial support for childcare costs is essential to show them that sticking with your company is worthwhile and that you understand the challenging circumstances of returning to the office.

Bringing Pets to the Office

If your workplace has space to accommodate employees with their pets, consider setting up a system to have your employees bring their pets to the office. 23 million Americans adopted pets in the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As employees return to the workplace, they might struggle to find help taking care of their pets during the day or may feel reluctant to adapt to in-person work away from their companion. Bringing their pets to the office can boost their wellness and keep their spirits high.

Free Movie Tickets

Incentivizing your employees to return to the office doesn’t have to be done through cost-heavy incentives. Some of the best back-to-office perks are free movie tickets to help employees have fun at the end of a long week and encourage a healthy work-life balance. Providing in-office workers the motivation to perform their best can be as simple as helping them pay to see the newest blockbuster.

Meditation App Subscriptions

Showing employees that you prioritize their mental and emotional well-being is critical to empathetically approaching the transition back into the office. Providing a workplace meditation app and allowing employees to use it as necessary throughout the day ensures everyone has a healthy mindset and the coping tools to manage their emotions when things feel overwhelming.

Find Out More With Sharebite

We guarantee that your workplace is the best it can be by providing essential wellness solutions for companies seeking a high-quality meal benefit program. Motivating your employees to return to the office involves numerous incentives and meal benefits are one of the best ways to motivate them to do their best. Find out how our solutions can help your employees thrive by checking out the Sharebite solution today!