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How Companies Are Taking the Sting Out of Return-to-Office Mandates

As return-to-office (RTO) mandates ramp up, organizations face the challenge of balancing productivity, retention and employee morale.

To smooth this transition, companies are stepping up their game by enhancing office amenities and making the workplace more appealing.

Innovative Solutions from Industry Leaders

Top financial institutions like Fifth Third Bank, Northwestern Mutual and Michigan First Credit Union are setting a new standard by providing concierge and errand-running services for their employees. This creative approach directly addresses the hurdles of on-site work, saving employees precious time and money.

“Aside from healthcare benefits, it’s probably the best I’ve ever experienced in my working career,” said Melissa Stevens, chief marketing officer at Fifth Third Bank, in an interview with ABC News, praising her company’s concierge service provider, Best Upon Request (BEST).

The perk has a 99.8% approval rating among Fifth Third Bank employees who use it.

BEST takes care of various tasks, from refueling cars and delivering lunches to finding child care providers and coordinating home repairs. By handling these personal errands, employees can concentrate more on their jobs and less on daily chores.

“We save about a little over an hour for every service we perform,” said BEST’s CEO Bill Mills. “If you use a concierge service two or three times a week, you could save half a day.”

Janet Harrah, a professor at the NKU Haile College of Business, told ABC News that perks like these are crucial not only for bringing employees back to the workplace but also for keeping them engaged and satisfied.

“It’s a challenging environment for employers and employees right now,” Harrah noted.

A New Workplace Perk

Concierge services are part of a broader strategy to create a supportive work environment. By handling routine but time-consuming tasks, these services help maintain high levels of employee satisfaction and productivity. The service also allows employees to retain some of the flexibility they enjoyed while working from home.

“As companies navigate the complexities of RTO mandates, focusing on employee well-being and easing stress become increasingly important,” explains Amy Cielak, BEST’s business development consultant. “Concierge services improve work-life balance and make the workplace a welcoming destination. Everyone has a to-do list, so it’s a practical solution to the everyday hustle employees face on in-office days which can significantly impact morale and retention.” 

When employees feel supported and valued, they’re more likely to stay, which reduces turnover and fosters a more committed workforce.

The Competitive Edge

In an era when attracting and retaining top talent is more competitive than ever, offering unique perks like concierge services can set companies apart. These services not only enhance the work-life balance for employees but also position employers as forward-thinking and compassionate.

The success seen by companies like Fifth Third Bank demonstrates the tangible benefits of investing in employee support systems.

Such services also make companies more appealing to potential hires. In a competitive job market, these perks can be a deciding factor for top talent when choosing between employers.

Setting New Standards for Employee Well-Being

The trend of enhancing workplace amenities reflects a broader shift in how companies view employee welfare. It acknowledges that employee well-being extends beyond the professional realm into personal and family life. As more companies adopt such measures, this could set a new standard for workplace expectations, promoting a holistic approach to employee care.