Purposeful Questions to Get Your Team Ready to Return to the Office
Many teams are returning to work in their office space. For most, things will be different than before. Many people have learned new tech skills and have become used to having greater independence in when and how they work. It’s also possible that the team’s goals, members, and/or processes have changed over the last year. This transition which will results in a new team culture requires new norms need to be established.
This team exercise is designed to align your team talking about the transitions they will be experiencing in order to help them prepare to adjust into their new normal.
1. Schedule a one-hour meeting.
2. Prior to the team meeting provide the following questions and ask each person to think about their responses and come prepared to share them:
Four Purposeful Questions to Get Your Team Ready to Return to the Office
- What did I like/love about working from home? Did I loathe working from home?
- What do I look forward to about working back in the office? What do I dread?
- How will I work differently in the future, given my experiences over the past year?
- How can the team support my preferred way of working as we transition back to the office?
3. Either ask one question at a time and give time for each person to answer it OR ask each person to share their responses to all four questions at the same time.
4. During the sharing of responses, team members can ask clarifying questions as needed.
5. Document the ways each team member would like to be supported.
What do Leaders Say about this team-building activity?
One leader I shared this with decided to ask these questions in 1:1 meetings with her direct reports, so they would not be influenced by each other. She told them, “There are some things we do better at home and some things better at work, and those things are different for everyone. It’s important to know what those things are so you can schedule your work accordingly. For example, "I do ‘big thinking’/ strategic planning better at the office and I do task-oriented stuff better at home.”
After gathering input from her team, she decided that Thursday would be the day everyone was expected to be in the office because that is when they met collectively and also the day she scheduled 1:1 meetings. This leader gave her team six weeks to phase into the new schedule at their own pace.
Taking time to do team-building activities like this save you time in the long run. Cultivating a positive team culture takes effort. This team exercise will help you get the conversations started with your team.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and the Forward, community, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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