49% of employees have transitioned back to the office in 2022. And now, in 2023, research shows that 90% of companies are making it mandatory for their staff to start commuting to their cubicles again. If your team is grumbling about these changes, it’s time to entice them with some entertaining activities and interaction!
- Have a casual dress day
- Host a company event
- Play back-to-office bingo
- Have a wellness day
- Be flexible with your returning employees
Whether you want to host a lively company event or put together some inclusive team-bonding activities, there are countless fun ways to welcome your employees to the office. That way, you can show your workers how appreciated and valued they are!
Keep reading, and we’ll share five charming and engaging ways that you can welcome returning employees as they make the move back to the office.
See Related: How An MC Can Make Your Office Space More Inviting
#1. Have A Casual Dress Day
Your team has likely gotten very used to working remotely. Especially if they’ve been on a work-from-home basis since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, they’ve had ample time to become heartily adjusted to working in the comfort of their own homes.
Though many companies have been making the push to bring employees back to the office, not all workers feel the same.
In fact, nearly 68% of American workers state that they prefer working from home.
With that being said, it’s safe to say that transitioning back to an office setting could potentially be challenging for employees and the organization alike.
That’s why it’s so important to find fun and exciting ways to make your employees feel comfortable with such a big transition!
How To Welcome BACK The Entire Team The Right Way
If you’re ready to make this transition, you need to do it the right way.
It’s important not to cut corners or overlook particular aspects. If you do, your team will feel less than enthused to be there and will likely view these changes with disdain.
There are four key principles that you should keep in mind if you’re looking to bring your remote employees back to the office.
Let me break them down for you by using the acronym BACK. Keep reading!
B – Better Workspace Environment
Encouraging your workers to come back to the office can be tricky. And that’s an understatement!
If they’re used to working in sweatpants surrounded by their family members, it can be hard to persuade them to willingly make the transition to the office. If they’re comfortable where they’re at, it can be hard to get them to give that up.
Though remote work offers plenty of benefits, it’s hard to beat the unified nature and engaged culture of in-person work. So, a great place to start is by making the office workspace agreeable and comforting.
Create a pleasant and comfortable office environment with ergonomic furniture, modern amenities, natural lighting, and attractive decor. This will make the office space feel more relaxing, engaging, and comforting.
You should also encourage employees to make their space their own with personal items or photos.
Plus, a well-designed workspace is key to boosting employee morale and productivity!
A – Attractive Incentives
Just spicing up the workspace isn’t enough to make employees feel excited to come back to work. They’re looking for a better culture and work-life balance that will give them what they want!
It’s important to offer enticing incentives in order to encourage employees to return to the office.
Anything from flexible work hours to commuter benefits will do the trick.
It’s also a great idea to incorporate plenty of on-site perks, such as snacks and an upgraded coffee bar.
If you’re looking to go a step further, it might be worthwhile to offer bonuses or performance-based incentives for your team.
C – Collaborative Culutre
One of the hardest parts of working from home can be the potential loneliness and isolation. It can be challenging for your workers to be separated from coworkers and supervisors while still trying to work effectively.
Plus, your team likely needs some socialization in order to thrive. After all, we are social creatures!
If your employees are cut off from others, it can leave them feeling alone. And that can be pretty detrimental in the long run.
It’s important to capitalize on the value of teamwork and collaboration in the office. And this can truly make it that much more appealing to come back.
Fostering a culture that focuses on group projects, team-building activities, and social events can help create a sense of camaraderie among your team.
And that makes the office a place where your team truly wants to be!
K – Knowledge And Skill Development
The key to making the office appealing is to offer things that your team can’t get by working from home.
Your employees deserve to thrive and be their best, and that’s only possible if you offer plenty of opportunities for growth and development.
By providing chances for workers to enhance their knowledge and skills, you can motivate your team to come back to the office.
Things like workshops, training programs, and seminars will help your employees develop new skills and learn new things.
By giving your employees a chance to enjoy newfound growth and development, you can give them another hearty reason to enjoy coming to the office.
A Great Way To Make The Office More Homey
After months or even years of working remotely in comfy clothes, your employees might feel a bit distressed or annoyed to have to swap out their baggy T-shirts and sweatpants for slacks and a blazer.
Letting your employees enjoy casual clothes will help them feel much more at ease and comfortable in an otherwise professional environment.
Giving your team that extra freedom will make the office feel a bit more relaxed, warm, and peaceful.
A casual dress day is exactly what your team needs if they’re looking to come back to work in the office. It’ll allow them to feel a bit more at ease and at home.
Whether it’s one day a month or every Friday, letting staff wear their favorite T-shirts or leggings is a great way to make your office that much more worker-friendly.
You can even hold a costume contest and congratulate the most comfortably dressed employee!
#2. Host A Company Event
The best way to truly welcome back your team is by starting with a bang. And a company event is the perfect way to greet your team!
By hosting a company event, you can gather all employees within the organization for some merry team bonding and genuine fun.
The perfect corporate function will boost employee engagement, provide a deeper purpose, and further connect your team to the company’s mission.
There are plenty of benefits of hosting a company event that goes beyond warmly welcoming back your team!
To put together a killer function that leaves your team laughing and feeling unified, you need a hilarious keynote speaker to guide the agenda.
The right master of ceremonies knows how to utilize things like humor, comedy, and fun activities in order to create a memorable evening.
A corporate emcee will be able to help your event support an inclusive office environment and positive company culture, all while keeping your employees entertained.
A company event is truly the best way to welcome back your team. As an experienced corporate MC, I’ve seen how fun and entertaining events have transformed an apprehensive and on-edge audience into a laughing and fun-loving family!
#3. Play Back-To-Office Bingo
Bingo is a classic game that can help people learn a bit more about each other while having some genuine fun.
After a prolonged absence from the office, your workers likely have achieved a lot.
And they should have a chance to catch up!
To start, all you need to do is hand out cards and get people to start talking with each other. Once someone gets all the boxes marked off in a row, column, or diagonal, they win.
They just need to find a person who did something in one of the boxes to mark it off.
Here are some ideas for boxes to get you started:
- Got married or engaged
- Got a certification
- Read a good book
- Launched a website
- Had a child
- Went to a concert
- Took a road trip
- Visited another country
- Started a new hobby
- Joined a club
- Got a new car
The Power Of Team-Building Activities
Bingo is just one of the many fun team-building activities that you can host when everyone comes back to work.
But there are so many other ways to help your workers bond!
Team-building activities are the foundation of a cohesive and unified team. It helps them grow close and form connections while discovering their own purpose in the workplace.
When it comes down to it, your workers need each other to thrive.
#4. Have A Wellness Day
Returning to the office can be stressful for some employees.
After working in the comfy confines of their homes, it can be unnerving to be upended.
Having a wellness day at work can give your team the support and relaxation they need to thrive and enjoy their time in the office.
For example, you can bring a professional yoga instructor for your team to enjoy some relaxing breathing exercises or meditation.
This will let them feel a bit more at ease in the office while learning simple yoga poses.
If your team isn’t into the idea of yoga, you can also have a general wellness day.
Perhaps bringing in a masseuse or hosting an aromatherapy session will be what your team needs!
#5. Be Flexible With Your Returning Employees
Hosting fun events and team-building activities for your returning workforce is a great way to get everyone excited to transition back to the office.
But what they really need is something with a bit more substance.
While your employees were working remotely, they had a unique chance to set their own schedules and forge their own paths.
So you should still encourage this freedom when they return to the office!
The best way to do this is by offering an attractive work-life balance, letting them pick some of their own hours, or letting them go home for lunches.
There are plenty of ways that you can truly support your team as they make this transition!
Bringing your team back to the office might seem like a tall order at first, but it can be an easy transition if you know how to see it through. All your employees need is some fun-loving humor to get them to open up, and the rest will be history!
Keep Reading: 7 Qualities Every Keynote Speaker Should Possess
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.