Return to Work Hurdles

Identifying the reasons workers do not want to come back to the workplace is challenging.

Often the reasons your employees and staff tell you are not the underlying cause(s) for their reluctance.  As owner, manager, and/or leader it is your responsibility to identify and address the hurdles your workers have.

We have identified some reasons for their resistance, but there may be others.

From around the nation, employers reported on some of their workers’ responses to directives bringing them back to the workplace, they include the following.

In big cities, long commutes have surfaced as a major impediment to giving up working from home.  As a most given reason, it was followed by added food costs for lunches and snacks plus finally, unsureness of office wear mores.

An added factor is many workers have changed body shape due to the long idleness. Ironically, many workers have actually trimmed weight and find office wear too big rather than too small.

The emotional cost of renewing relationships on a personal basis after months of zoom-like meetings is sometimes a hindrance to workplace returns.

The savings in child-care costs along with the time to bond with children have led many parents to question the sacrifices they are making in leaving their offspring with others.  Many parents report renewed closeness they are reluctant to loosen.  Plus, some had other caregiver responsibilities.

Better work-life balance was also reported by many employees.  Workers spend more time with family but also believe they provide improved performance to their company by concentrating on the job needs rather than workplace distraction.

Being away from the workplace enabled them to better sort out their goals within the company.  They also indicate their life goals have changed, making them less desirous of career advancement over personal achievements.

Other employees say they have better communications with senior management through direct contact required by dispersed workers.  They report improved understanding of company goals with improved communications with senior leaders.

Perhaps you can add to this list.  The important task is to listen to what workers reply when asked to return to the workplace.  Then ask follow-up questions to understand each individual’s hurdles for returning and think about how you can help them soar over them.

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