In recent months, as the country’s COVID-19 vaccination rate slowly increased, businesses around the world have been planning how and when to re-introduce technologists to the office. Many of these companies have spent a lot of time and resources redesigning office spaces, keen to make employees feel safe.
Despite those efforts, however, a new survey from Blind (which anonymously quizzes technologists on a range of issues) clearly shows that many technologists remain anxious about returning to the office. Overall, around 65% of the 4,272 people polled said the prospect of returning to their old office filled them with anxiety, while 35% said it did not. Here’s a business-by-business breakdown:
What is behind this anxiety? About 87 percent of technologists who described themselves as anxious said they were either moderately or very concerned about the health risks associated with returning to the office; 78% indicated that they were either moderately or very concerned about having to manage the logistics of home care (such as childcare) upon return.
About as many (80%) of these anxious souls said they were either moderately or very concerned about interacting with their colleagues in the office, which is understandable after a year of everyone being reduced to faces in de small Zoom or Teams windows. .
While remote working has its own challenges – including the ever-present risk of burnout – it’s clear from Blind’s investigation that managers and team leaders will face a new set of challenges when they will try to bring technologists back to the office. As with remote working, the key to this reintegration is communication: if a manager can clearly convey changes in the office, including any new security protocols, it could go a long way in alleviating the anxieties of their team members.
It is also up to managers to encourage positive interaction between team members who have not seen each other for some time and who may need more than a few ‘icebreaker’ exercises to become familiar with the sitting position. next to colleagues during the day. For the development and engineering teams, the daily stand-up is a good opportunity to put everyone at ease; for others, however, it may come down to a manager setting up more informal meetings and gatherings.