In a recent Korn Ferry survey, nearly 60% of respondents said that returning to the office has had a negative impact on their mental health. “The office can be a scary place, and people don’t want to work in an atmosphere of fear,” The article goes on to say that people feel “safer” at home than they do at work. I wonder if leaders are taking this into account?
So we have two options:
- Employees stay at home in order to feel safer;
- Leaders make the workplace feel safer, so that there is no difference between workplace and home safety. And we can do BOTH. Then the insistence by managers that people return to work will make more sense to many (but not all) people.
A bigger issue is this: “Why are we demanding that people return to the office when clearly a large percentage of employees do not want to”? It seems that many leaders are more interested in following protocols and tradition than they are about meeting the needs of employees.
In this age of advanced technology, creative leaders will customize their workplace strategies so they align with the needs of employees FIRST because they are humans first and titles and functions second. When employees feel inspired, they will inspire customers. We have it the wrong way around.
This is the message in my new book, Reawakening the Human Spirit.