Getting back into the workplace vital for the good of businesses and staff

Getting people back into the workplace when restrictions lift next month is vital for businesses and employees, according to an award-winning Black Country business coach.

Andy Hemming, of ActionCOACH Black Country, believes that a physical return to the workplace is important for communication, culture, and productivity. He said:

“Many businesses have now had staff working from home for more than a year and, whilst it was necessary during the pandemic, as things start to return to some semblance of normality, I believe it’s vital to get people back together - safely - in a work environment. 

“There’s a lot of debate ranging around working from home versus being in the workplace, but you’ve got to ask which arrangement suits the business and its staff better. Working from home has meant we’ve lost a lot of personal boundaries, with home life and work blurring together, often to the detriment of one or the other.

"People have really struggled to put up boundaries and it’s affected their mental health. I’m a firm believer that you should have three bubbles in life - self, family and business - and you have to make time for all three. 

“It’s very difficult to put boundaries in place when you’re constantly working from home, because inevitably one area or another starts to encroach, leading to increased stress, reduced focus and lower productivity. 

“Having your ‘work’ life mainly in the physical workplace means it’s easier to switch off when you’re at home, and from the business owner’s point of view, it helps hugely with staff productivity. Being together in the workplace also allows for a better culture to be built.” 

Andy, who has consistently been voted in the top five business coaches in the UK since 2014, said the return also gives business owners the perfect opportunity to step back and have a look at what’s working in their team - and to change what’s not. He added:

“Most business owners I know are keen to largely get back to having everyone in the office, but they might find they have some staff who put up resistance to returning to work. Anyone struggling to get staff to want to come back to the office needs to step back and look a little deeper at what’s going on.

"A crisis, such as the pandemic, always amplifies what’s normally going on in a business - that includes existing problems and behaviours. So, if you had staff who weren't particularly on board or aligned with your vision, values or culture, the pandemic will have exacerbated this. 

“While it’s completely understandable that there will be some people with genuine concerns and anxieties about returning, others will be using it as an excuse to not return to the office because it suits them better.

“As a business owner, it’s important to have reasonable conversations around expectations, and what win / win looks like for both parties. I don’t believe the answer is an ‘all in, all of the time’ approach - it’s important to strike the right balance, as long as it works for the business. 

“The right people will come through it with you, the wrong people will put up obstacles and resistance - and that’s when business decisions need to be made in a logical, non-emotional way. 

"On the flip side, the last 12 months will have highlighted those staff who are worth their weight in gold to the business.”

ActionCOACH Black Country is currently offering a number of free business support resources to Black Country businesses to help with the pandemic recovery. 

To find out more or to book a free session, call 01527 757 910 or email


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'