Employee engagement initiatives for a successful return to the office

Employee engagement initiatives for a successful return to the office

The Covid 19 pandemic has completely changed our lives, including where and how we work.

For traditional office workers, moving to a home office was a challenge at first, but now many enjoy the flexibility and better work-life balance. Companies now want to use creative methods to bring their employees back to the office.

In doing so, they need to offer an atmosphere and opportunities that cannot be realised at home. With these selected initiatives, companies succeed in strengthening the engagement and retention of their employees when they return to the office.

Importance of employee retention

A successful return to the office is closely linked to employee retention related. It is important that employees are motivated and engaged to do their jobs effectively. High employee retention leads to higher productivity and a better working atmosphere. Companies should therefore invest in various initiatives to increase employee retention.

Strategies to increase employee retention

After months of home office, returning to the office can be a challenge for many employees.

To increase employee engagement and motivation, companies can take various initiatives. Here are three selected strategies that companies can use to bring employees back to the office and increase engagement and retention:

Team-building activities

Team-building activities can help to strengthen trust and cooperation between employees. Companies can organise different activities, such as:

  • Teambuilding workshops
  • Outdoor activities like climbing or rafting
  • Group projects in which employees have to work together

Wellness programs

Wellness programmes can help to improve the well-being of employees and promote their health. Companies can offer different programmes, such as:

  • Fitness classes in or near the office
  • Meditation or yoga classes
  • Health checks and counselling

Mobility budget

A mobility budget can help employees to organise their working more flexible and environmentally friendly ways of can be more flexible. Companies can provide their employees with a monthly budget that they can use for different means of transport such as company bicycles, public transport or car sharing.

By implementing these strategies, companies can help keep their employees motivated and engaged even when they return to the office.

Challenges and solutions

Returning to the office can be challenging for many employees, as they have become accustomed to working from home and have developed routines. However, there are several ways to boost employee morale and engagement and ease the transition. Some challenges and solutions are listed below:

Challenge: Separation anxiety

Some employees may have difficulty separating from work at home and returning to the office because they have become accustomed to working from home and have developed routines. This can lead to stress and anxiety.

Solution: Fixed working hours and clear communication

It is important to set clear working hours and ensure that employees know when they need to be in the office. Clear communication about expectations and requirements can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty.

Example: Fixed weekly attendance day

For example, companies can establish so-called team office days. A fixed weekly presence day for the team that can be combined with additional social offers, such as a joint lunch or a team meeting in a relaxed atmosphere. In this way, companies can show that presence has an incredible value that the home office alone cannot offer.

Challenge: Social isolation

Employees who work almost exclusively from home may feel isolated and have difficulty returning to social interactions in the office. On the other hand, employees are also concerned that they are more likely to be disturbed or disrupted by colleagues in the office than in the home office - especially in open-plan offices. 

Solution: Team building activities

Team-building activities can help to strengthen the team feeling and promote social interactions in the office. Examples include joint lunches, group outings or team-building exercises.

Challenge: Health

Besides social aspects, the health aspect also plays a role. Some employees may not get enough exercise or feel fit enough by working from home. Other employees may still be apprehensive about returning to the office for fear of catching it from their colleagues or on the way to work.

Solution: Wellness programmes

Wellness programmes such as yoga classes, meditation sessions or fitness classes can help promote the health and well-being of employees and reduce anxiety.

Challenge: Commuting

A weighty argument against the office for many employees is the way to work. According to an international study According to an international study, employees save an average of around one hour per day by working from home. Classic mobility offers such as a company car or a job ticket are no longer up-to-date and too inflexible in times of hybrid and flexible working. People are increasingly opting for a mix of different means of transport and mobility offers. and mobility offers.

Solution: Flexible mobility budget

A monthly mobility budget can meet this new mobility mix of employees and relieve them noticeably financially in the process. With only a few journeys to the office per week, a flexible offer creates incentives to return to the office.

Future trends in employee retention

In today's working world, it is more important than ever to retain and motivate employees. Employee retention is an important factor in the success of a company. Future trends will focus on the needs of employees and how companies can meet those needs.

Flexible working conditions

Even if companies want to bring their teams back to the office: Employees want to be able to work from home or work flexible hours. Companies that offer flexible working conditions will be able to attract and retain talented employees.

Work-life balance

Work-life balance is an important factor for employee retention. Employees want to have a good work-life balance. Companies that give their employees the opportunity to balance their work with their private life will be more successful.

Training and development

Employees want to develop and advance their careers. Companies that give their employees the opportunity to learn and develop will be better able to attract and retain talented employees.

Health promotion

Health promotion is important for employee retention. Companies that offer wellness programmes, fitness programmes and other health-promoting measures to their employees will be successful. Employees who are healthy and feel well are more productive and engaged.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are hot topics. Companies that have a diverse workforce and create inclusive work environments will attract and retain talented employees. Employees want to work in an environment where they are valued and respected.


Overall, there are many ways to promote employee retention and engagement when employees return to the office. Some of the strategies companies can use include team-building activities, wellness programmes and flexible mobility budgets.

It is important that companies consider the needs of their employees and address their concerns to ensure a successful return to the office.

By increasing employee retention and promoting employee engagement, companies can ensure that their employees are productive and satisfied. Implementing retention initiatives can also help reduce turnover and make the company successful in the long run.

However, it is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for every company. Each company needs to develop and adapt its own retention initiatives to ensure that they meet the needs and expectations of its employees.

Overall, employee retention and engagement initiatives can be critical to a successful return to work. Companies should strive to understand their employees and address their needs to ensure that they are successful and productive.

Stefan Wendering
Stefan is a freelance writer and editor at NAVIT. Previously, he worked for startups and in the mobility cosmos. He is an expert in urban and sustainable mobility, employee benefits and new work. Besides blog content, he also creates marketing materials, taglines and content for websites and case studies.