How to ‘move forwards’ when you ‘go back’ to your workplace

Lock down is lifting and little-by-little employees are going back to their workplaces. Restrictions remain and some employers are bringing their teams back on a shared or rota basis. Things will still feel strange and an understandable degree of nervousness exists. But, overall, there is a rising sense that the world is gradually going back to work. Or, perhaps, we should rephrase that and consider their return as going forwards, all the stronger having learned much and adapted significantly during lock down.

“We can’t really talk about ‘going back’ as employees won’t be returning to things as they were,” says Luke Bullen, CEO at Gympass UK/IE. “People’s experiences and attitudes have fundamentally changed since March and so too has the culture of well-being in the workplace,” he says. “Employers will be aware that as staff return to work, they are likely to be navigating changes to the company’s operations and business, a range of different responses and experiences of Covid-19 among colleagues and a distinctly shifted landscape around physical and mental health.”

Gympass adapted quickly to support its corporate partners in providing digital and virtual health and well-being services during lock down. Access to physical and mental health apps, live classes, bespoke programming and, most recently, virtual one-to-one PT sessions have all helped employees approach their well-being afresh.  Having adjusted to the new offering, many have found it a welcome improvement and will keep with these digital services long after lock down.

Other good things will have come from lock down strategies including improvements in how businesses go about their day-to-day work, a greater sense of connectedness and better awareness of everyone’s feelings.

“Managing teams post-Covid-19 will require further adjustment and, as remote work forces return to their offices and restore routine, we would be wise to continue the high levels of support and safeguarding that were required during lock down,” says Luke.

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“The Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report shows the importance of realizing that work forces will comprise different groups of employees: those who remained at your workplace, workers who will gradually return to work physically, and those who will keep on working remotely,” he continues.  “Keeping these different groups connected will take some planning but techniques used in lock down – such as Zoom, Slack, participating in virtual group exercise or relaxation sessions – could all help here.  And don’t forget that not only does this have social benefits, many people find colleague interactions to be a source of energy.”

Gympass has pulled together some insight and tips to help employers cultivate a strong and healthy culture post-Covid-19 in a free eBook.  Drawing on its expertise with additional contributions from surveys and leading companies including Gallup, Optum, Future Workplace and Deloitte plus Virgin Pulse, Expedia, Walmart and LinkedIn, it’s designed to help businesses move forwards as they come back.