Complete Story


How to Help Staff Feel Like Returning to the Office Is Worth It

It's time to assuage fears about in-office work

I knew returning to the office on a regular basis would be difficult after two years of remote work, but I grossly underestimated the challenges.

After a couple of days and despite organizational efforts to make the transition easier (i.e., catered breakfasts, mental health resources for employees), I questioned if me or my organization benefitted from my presence in our DC office. I managed a few “watercooler” sentences with colleagues before I scurried back to my office to go mask-free. Though our office does not have a mask mandate, a lot of my colleagues are not ready for mask-free interaction, and I respect that. As a result, my day was still mostly Zoom calls and sitting in isolation. And I know I’m not alone—many professionals are feeling this way as offices open back up.

On top of this, no association can control the external forces that make commuting back into the office a net negative for many. Inflation is outpacing wage growth, and in the nonprofit industry, wages lag for-profit counterparts. Employees who had the ability to reduce commuting costs to offset rising prices are facing tough personal finance decisions because of remote work ending. Due to inflationary trends, some people may soon have to choose between a vacation and their grocery bill. Productivity will almost certainly decrease as commuting has already ramped traffic up in many major metropolitan areas.

Please select this link to read the complete article from ASAE's Center for Association Leadership.

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