The Great Office Debate: To Return or Not to Return?
It's the question on everyone's mind these days: when will our employees be returning to the office? For startups, this decision is a difficult one. On one hand, there are financial benefits to working from home and every dollar counts when you're just getting off the ground. On the other hand, employee morale and company culture can suffer when teams are separated.
Bottom line: No one wants to be the company that forces its team back into a cramped, stressful workplace before they're ready. So what should startup founders do?
The Solution Is Not One-Size-Fits-All
The answer, of course, is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every startup is unique, and every team has different needs. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate this decision.
Consult With Your Team
First and foremost, it's important to consult with your team. Send out a survey and really listen to what your employees have to say. What are their concerns? What would make them feel more comfortable about coming back into the office? If your team is overwhelmingly opposed to returning, it might not be worth it to push for a return-to-office plan just yet.
Keep Your Company Culture In Mind
Second, consider your company culture. Is your workplace one that lends itself well to social distancing? If not, you might want to wait until things have settled down a bit more before bringing people back in. Conversely, if you have a large office with plenty of room for people to spread out, you might be able to make a case for returning sooner rather than later.
Be As Flexible As Possible
Third, give your team options and be as flexible as possible. Many companies are implementing a hybrid approach that allows employees to balance time in and out of the office.
Choose What is Best for Your Company and Team
Finally, think about what's best for your business. If you need face-to-face interaction with clients or customers in order to function properly, then you'll likely need to bite the bullet and bring people back in sooner rather than later. On the other hand, if your business can run just as smoothly with everyone working remotely, then you might be able to hold off on returning.
There's no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether or not to return your employees to the office. It's a complex decision that requires careful consideration of both financial and morale factors. Ultimately, though, the decision comes down to what's best for your business. So take some time to consult with your team and figure out what will work best for everyone involved.