After years of working from home during the pandemic, employees are now being asked to return to the office. However, many companies have noticed that their workers are not fully prepared to transition back to the office environment. As a result, more than 60% of companies in the United States are planning to implement office etiquette training for their employees by 2024.
According to a survey conducted by Resume Builder, the top lessons requested by bosses include maintaining polite conversations, dressing professionally, writing professional emails, taking proper lunch breaks, and making eye contact. Many companies have reported an increase in complaints about a hostile work environment and customer complaints about the behavior of some employees, which has led them to recognize the importance of investing in the interpersonal development of their employees.
While many of the skills taught in office etiquette training may seem like common knowledge, it appears that standards have lowered since the pandemic. Generation Z, in particular, who missed out on valuable in-person work experience during the pandemic, is struggling with the shift from virtual to hybrid work. To address this, consulting firms and universities are offering soft skills training to help bridge the social skills gap.
Interestingly, only 10% of companies planning to offer office etiquette training say it will be necessary specifically for Generation Z and recent graduates. The majority, 60%, will require training for all employees, including baby boomer workers who had accumulated decades of experience in the office before the pandemic.
Young Pham, co-founder of a marketing and e-commerce platform, explained that they initially implemented the training program as part of the onboarding process for new employees, but quickly realized that office etiquette training is beneficial for all employees, regardless of their level of experience or position. As a result, they expanded the program to include all employees, reinforcing company values and fostering a collaborative work environment.
In conclusion, as workers return to the office, it is important for companies to recognize that the office is no longer what it used to be. Even old dogs have to learn new tricks and adapt to the “new ways of interacting” in the new hybrid world of work. Office etiquette training is a valuable investment in the interpersonal development of employees and can help create a more positive and productive work environment.
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