The Office is Back; American workers are returning to work, but it’s not all rosy
October 10, 2022
The post-pandemic world is a welcome relief for everyone. People are thrilled to interact with other humans, return to socializing, and are embracing the opportunity to meet and collaborate with co-workers they have never met in person. As much as the whole “work from home” life was romanticized, the truth is that the majority of workers like to get out of the house. So why are the terms Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting surfacing in our trending topics and workplace jargon? Why does there seem to be an underlying level of continued anxiety, job dissatisfaction or even apathy when it comes to resuming our connected lives and workplace teams?
We may be underestimating the fallout from surviving what has been a traumatic two years on every level. The sustained stress and isolation of a global health crisis and subsequent lock-down is bound to leave long-term wounds, and unless we address them fully we won’t heal or move forward productively. Combine this trauma with the new stressors of an uncertain economy, altered work environments, and possibly a shift in company direction, the resulting effect can really leave teams feeling unglued.
Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults. ComPsych, the largest provider of North American employee assistance programs surveyed employees across industries to determine the causes of stress and its impacts upon productivity and attendance. Findings showed that 62% of workers have high stress levels, with symptoms including extreme fatigue and feelings of being out of control. Top causes include workload, people issues and work/life balance concerns. The impact was shown to cause a 15-30 minute per day loss in productivity as well as a reduced attendance record over time.
So how can we flip the switch on a potentially painful professional environment into one that is supportive, cohesive and productive? Tara Powers, CEO of Powers Resource Center and expert in talent development, suggests going back to basics. “In diagnosing persistent issues in workplace culture and team productivity, the lasting mantra is Communication, Communication, Communication,” explains Powers., “While a good communication plan was always of critical importance, the nuances of a hybrid, post-pandemic regenerative landscape requires it.” She says that without a methodology for healing the broken lines of communication, the path forward for building a healthy team will be murky and disjointed at best.
Powers’ team at PRC has had two decades to perfect the art of developing great communication strategies. For example, the Communication Method Matrix shown here, illustrates a plan for engaging employees in a hybrid workplace. In balancing these avenues along a backdrop of relationship assessment and risk management, the results are designed to promote a complete picture for optimal cohesiveness.
Through proven methods for diagnosing team health and effectiveness and customizable solutions such as the Wiley Everything DiSC team building program, The team at PRC has perfected the art of cultivating a health company culture. Utilizing proprietary assessment and training tools is an efficient way to support employees and managers in doing their jobs. The Virtual Team Effectiveness Program is the most recently launched award winning tool for virtual teams.
The team at PRC can provide an honest and objective “health check” of an organization. They can develop a fully customized strategy for building team cohesiveness and ultimately grow a company culture that keeps employees engaged, invested, and in it for the long run.