Many companies are already planning to eventually bring their remote employees back to the corporate offices. Interestingly, productivity has not taken a hit with work-from-home. So why bring them back to the office?
Perhaps, now employers feel their employees can work more safely back at the office. Perhaps they feel they will be able to exert more control. Perhaps companies are trying to get ROI on their commercial leases or properties they own. They continue to pay overhead on these investments and may as well utilize them again, right?
A Taste of “Freedom”
But even if they can legally demand that their workforce return, they face a mounting challenge. By sending their people home in the first place, they gave those remote employees a taste of freedom. And now, they may never want to go back. If they are demanded to do so, will they come back begrudgingly or take their skillset to a competitor that offers work-from-home?
Loss of Routine
The physical ties with their employer have been cut for some time. An employee’s physical presence is no longer required. Their work has been reorganized to be all online! No more daily reinforcing routine including the coffee, shower, business clothes, breakfast and commute. No more social ties with folks you used to see daily at work. No more small talk in the coffee room or at the watercooler. Now work is just an icon on their desktop!
Savings and Responsibilities
By now they’ve begun to enjoy the economic savings on commute costs and dry-cleaning, and then there’s the time savings that work-from-home has provided. Meanwhile their younger kids needs daycare and their older ones need special attention as they try to school from home. Getting your work-from-home employees back to the office will be tough enough with these existential considerations. But even if the companies can solve those, they are now faced with another unexpected challenge.
Many work-from-homers have finally escaped certain aspects of the company culture that they always took issue with. It’s just now that they have had enough of a breather from those cultural issues, that they are beginning to look at their employment more objectively. Do they even like the company culture? Will they be excited to return to the office and submit themselves to the same culture they left? Or will they say, “It still feels like a prison!”
We think any kind of employee repopulation program will require a re-boot of company culture. Things have changed since employees were sent home. Not only have they been working without the daily influence of the less-than-desirable aspects of their company’s culture, but now they have had time to think it over. What are they going back to? Culture is quickly becoming a leading factor in the decision to go back to the office.
Now is the time for companies to take a long hard look at their own company culture. How does it make employees feel about investing their careers with the company? What can be done to make that culture more attractive? There are many aspects of company culture beyond style and communication. One of those aspects is company history, principles, and purpose. Not just the “how”, but the “why”.
Performed, Not Just Narrated
We think that the best way to communicate the “why” is through story. And the best way to communicate story is through an audio play. Why audio? Because it’s completely mobile. Untethered by page or screen, it delivers an entertainment and learning experience for the employee. Why play? Because employees will identify with the founders and company story, pulling for them to succeed as they face and overcome the challenges that made their own job possible.
Actors play the parts in important scenes from the company’s history. Seminal milestones, pivots, and breakthroughs are all brought to life with entertaining dialogue, sound effects and music. Employees connect with their company anew. They have more appreciation for how their company originated, what it stands for, and why the procedures, relationships, and organization work.
Business Audio Theatre is a compelling onboarding and training tool that can tell the company’s story in a way that adds significant value to an overall reboot of the company’s culture. Welcome your work-from-home employees back to a culture that makes them feel like they are part of the story, a story they can identify with, a story they are proud to support as employees.