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The work from home trend has certainly shifted the geographical nature of businesses and offices. Many managers and supervisors have spent the last year, or longer, only seeing their home-based employees via video calls. Now they’re beginning to return.

So what can you do to welcome them back and motivate them as they transition from working from home to working from their office spaces? Here are 5 ways to inspire office productivity:

1. Create Task Spaces

The work-from-home employees could be relatively mobile in their homes, brainstorming online with colleagues from comfortable couches and reading through reports in quiet, private office areas.

Help recreate some of these task spaces. For example, create collaborative areas with sofas, or quiet areas for private phone calls.

You employees will appreciate that they aren’t stuck at their desks, cubicles, or workstations all day if there are areas they can use to stay productive.

2. Improve Ergonomics

If employees are at their desks, they’ll be much happier if they’re comfortable and have a flexible environment that works for them.

Consider an investment in ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, and accessories like monitor arms and anti-fatigue mats. The ROI will be employees who have adaptable work areas that help them stay productive and focused on important tasks.

3. Encourage Breaks and Movement

Employees who sit and stare at a computer screen all day may not actually be that productive, even if they look like they are. Studies have shown that working for just under an hour, then taking a short break, actually helps the brain recharge and focus more.

Your workers may have naturally done this while at home, when they felt less guilt about stepping away for a few minutes.

So continue to encourage short breaks when they return. Let them talk to colleagues or get a cup of coffee. When they recharge, they’ll be more productive.

4. Add Some Color

A few changes in atmosphere can help welcome back your employees. A little bit of color could go a long way to brightening up an office. You could paint just a wall or two for some accents, update some artwork on the walls, or add a few potted plants for greenery.

Plants, especially, can help bring some of the outdoors to the inside if the office doesn’t have many windows or natural light.

5. Stay Flexible

Lives have changed a lot in the past year. It’s unlikely employees will return to the office and everything will be exactly like it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ease the transition by slowly increasing time spent at work, and let coworkers adjust to being together again. When everyone feels more comfortable and confident about the transition back to work, they’ll be better able to focus on their tasks and boost office productivity.

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