Returning to the office

Struggling to get your colleagues back in the office? Fret no more. Here’s ‘five unorthodox ways’ to encourage them, brought to you by global consultancy Korn Ferry, which ‘enables people and organisations to exceed their potential’.

  1. Create a fear of missing out
    ‘Stack each day’ with a couple of appealing events, suggests Korn Ferry. What about a midday food truck and friends gathering? Or a 3pm ice cream truck? Even an end-of-day kickball tournament? Hand me that season ticket, I’ve got an office to visit.
  2. Offer interaction with leadership
    ‘Ambitious workers’ welcome the chance to mingle with the C-suite, particularly leaders who are inaccessible. That’s right. Let’s put that taciturn CEO, who needs constant media training, to work. ‘Employees will also show up in strong numbers’ for a chance to make professional contacts. Amateur contacts, not so much.
  3. Redesign how the office is used
    Don’t have ‘in-office days’, but rather ‘in-office days built around collaboration’. Holding Monday meetings outdoors to brainstorm is one helpful suggestion, which sounds just perfect for the British climate. Alternatively, have you thought of building a staff gym or smoothie bar? Or even employing somebody ‘with hospitality experience’? A bellhop to carry heavy briefcases? (I may have made the last one up.)
  4. Attract diverse populations
    Apparently, those people most hesitant to return are those who find ‘in-office time the least harmonious with their caretaking commitments’. (Slightly confused: do they have a side hustle?) Don’t design back-to-office schedules to satisfy senior leaders’ needs, but instead design for those ‘who are struggling the most’. Be inclusive. Perhaps find a space for their buckets and mops?
  5. Pay all costs
    Duh! You mean you hadn’t realised that getting to the office can be both time-consuming and expensive? No worries. Korn Ferry has the answer. Simply address all those concerns by paying work-related costs. ‘It’s a small price to pay,’ say the consultants. I suspect they’re using the word ‘small’ ironically.

In case you doubt these ‘unorthodox ways’ will work, client partner Flo Falayi says that Pizza Thursday has gone ‘a long way’ to help him come into the office on Thursdays. Don’t expect to see him on Jacket Potato Friday, though. He doesn’t like the fillings.