Back to the office…?

WFH, hybrid-model, flexible working, agency days, back in the office – many of us are navigating a new way of working in a post-pandemic world. As employees turned employers ourselves, here is a list of 5 things to bear in mind to make the transition smoother for everybody.

1. Listen

Journalist Anna Whitehouse (better known as Mother Pukka on Instagram) advocates flexible working. Entrepreneur Steven Bartlett is all about office culture. Both come to the discussion with a different set of values, some of those due to their personal circumstances (age, gender, family situation etc.). Whilst they seem to be sitting at opposite sides of the table, the two fight for the same end goal: for people to have a healthy work-life balance, a job that fulfils them AND allows them to build the life they want.

The truth is, everybody is different. Some people commute 1 hour each way and are happy not to have to do that anymore. Some people have children they see for 2 hours less a day due to that commute. Some people are introvert, neuro-diverse, are exhausted after 2 years of uncertainty, and working from home might just be the rest bite they need.

Others struggle with loneliness and crave the company of other humans. Small social interactions like conversations with co-workers by the office coffee-machine, but not if they are forced.

The solution: Listen to your employees. Anonymous questionnaires, task forces, individual conversations, whatever it takes. No size fits all, especially after we have all been through something that was bigger than us.

2. Make it sweeter

So happy to have you back biscuits

Welcome back gifts are a lovely way to make people feel appreciated. We are biased of course, but we receive so much wonderful feedback from our clients about the impact a seemingly small gesture like a biscuit can have.

Depending on your budget, a simple “Welcome back” biscuits can go a long way. An office survival kit or hamper can be enhanced with a personalised biscuit. Or for those that will leave the office closed for a little bit longer, our biscuits can be shipped to employees’ home addresses. Our letterbox-friendly biscuit boxes can be made to represent your brand with logos, values or colours, or focus on the recipients, with a message like “We miss you”, “Can’t wait to be re-united”, or “Until we meet again”.

3. Review

Serving tea and coffee in pretty table ware

If you decided to call everybody back into the office and the atmosphere isn’t great, have a review and repeat step 1. above. If you decided on a hybrid model, but logistics are complicated and HR is sweating, have a review. If your office culture is dying a slow death, have a review, if your working parents are struggling, have a review. There is no shame in reviewing what you agreed on to see if it actually works in practise. And to change it if it doesn’t.

This is an unprecedented situation, none of us have been here before and nailed it. We all need to find a way that works for us, the company, but also for the people who make our company.

If you’d like to speak to us about staff gifts and welcome back gifts, please email enquiries@bloombakers.co.uk, or use the below contact form.

We would love to help you show your appreciation for your workforce in the sweetest way!

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