Returning to the workplace sounds like something simple. We were away — and now we’re coming back! In truth, the questions of whether, when, and how to reopen an organization’s workspace are difficult and complicated.
A workplace is more than a place. Where we work profoundly affects how we work, with whom we work, and when we work. Decisions about the workplace have a direct impact on team culture, how people work together and how the work actually happens.
Reopening a workspace isn’t something that happens all at once. Employees, leaders, work processes, team culture, and programming will all need significant time to adjust to this complex and interlocking set of changes. Instead of thinking only about “Reopening Day,” leaders need to think about the longer process, and returning and adjusting to the workplace after time away.
The “fresh start effect”. Major milestones and changes—geographical moves, the New Year on January 1, the beginning or completion of a major project, significant anniversaries, and more—can help people put past habits behind them and achieve new growth and change in ways they find more difficult in the absence of these milestone moments. While some organizations may rightly decide that their past ways of operating are exactly what this moment needs, and return to an unchanged set of strategies and tactics, this playbook encourages every organization to ask the question: Should we resume what we were doing, or should we re-dream it?
Whether you and your leadership team are just beginning the reopening conversation, are in the middle of planning a reopening, or have reopened and begun your readjustment, this playbook can help you along your journey to a stronger organization.