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Return to Office Trends: Building Morale and Helping Employees Feel Welcome



By Great Performances

The second anniversary of New York’s “Stay at Home” order is rapidly approaching and with vaccination rates increasing, Covid numbers declining, and mask mandates lifting, a full return to the office is right around the corner (if it hasn’t already happened).

Working from home was an adjustment and we learned to navigate a different type of home office: sharing our space with kids and partners, juggling our meetings with kids’ online school schedules; hopping from one video call to another (remembering to mute/unmute), and moving less as our commutes became those steps between different rooms or sections of our homes.

Although we’ve all adjusted and adapted, we’ve missed a lot of things that we took for granted while we worked in an office. At GP, although we’ve been busy working and attending events, we haven’t been in the office as regularly and as frequently as we were accustomed to pre-pandemic. We deeply felt this during our holiday party that we celebrated at Wollman Rink, and it was energizing to once more feel the connection, warmth, laughter, and camaraderie that only comes from being physically together.

As we work with our clients who are planning their Return to Office dates and activities, there are several themes that we’re noticing.

  1. Welcome Back Moments – as employees come back to the office, we’re working with their human resources and facilities teams to create some hospitality moments to help people feel welcome and comfortable. From delicious treats with a note on their desks to welcome back breakfasts, coffee breaks, and happy hours, these small moments help create joy and are an easy way to encourage people to come together.
  2. Providing Meals – a growing trend for a number of organizations is providing meal options in the office for their employees. We offer a variety of solutions from catered breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to full service in-house dining solutions, our Workplace Dining Program. (Read more about the top trends in workplace dining and what your employees are looking for here)
  3. Team Building – executive and human resources teams are recognizing that despite the internet-connectedness of the pandemic, team dynamics have changed. We’ve been working closely with some Fortune 500 companies to help plan team building events, from traditional team building events to volunteer days. Check out some of our favorite team building locations!

All of these are designed to lift morale, create buzz and engagement, and add a hospitality flair to what could be a mundane or even dreaded event. And of course, no gathering of people would be complete without food!

Ready to plan your event? Complete the form below and one of our event planners will reach out to you shortly!