17 Pulse Survey questions to ask your employees before reopening the office

Offices are cautiously starting to reopen and HR leaders need to help their people adapt to the 'new normal'. With companies like Twitter and Slack offering employees full-time remote working conditions and employees worldwide having to adapt to different working situations, the equation becomes more complicated.

After 3 months of the biggest remote working experiment ever conducted on a global scale, and as global pandemic restrictions loosen up, the world is cautiously starting to reopen.

The gradual transition into the 'new normal' is yet another time of immense change that may feel scary to some and exciting to others.

This brings the challenge for HR teams to create transition plans, considering when and how to reopen offices. The guidelines of working have shifted for many organizations - full-time or part-time remote is now becoming a reality from many companies. Companies like Twitter and Slack have empowered their employees with the option to choose where they want to work from and reassured them working full-time remotely is a possibility. These shifts are due to employees embracing and experiencing the benefits of flexible working conditions.

The best way to find out how your employees are feeling about returning to work - ask them!

This is Part 7 of our Remote Work & COVID-19 Response Series looking at how organizations are planning to transition to the new normal and how Impraise supports you in doing so. In case you missed it, last week we shared 7 areas in which employees should be encouraged to ask for feedback.

In this article, we will focus on the following (jump ahead):

- What are the benefits of using Pulse Surveys

- 4 Tips on how to run an effective Pulse survey

- 17 example questions to ask your people

What are the benefits of using Pulse Surveys

Back in March, we created the Pulse survey feature in Impraise so your Leadership, People team, and Managers could get actionable insights into your employee’s wellbeing and performance.

This provided employees the chance to voice their state of mind, concerns and contribute to improvements to optimizing remote work, whilst showing Leadership the highest priority areas that need to be addressed.

Just as the last 3 months have been a rollercoaster ride of challenges, learning, and adapting to remote work, the next period will also hold its obstacles. Pulse surveys provide employees the outlet to share their thoughts and ideas, so as an organization you can adapt quickly, optimizing for motivation, engagement, and productivity.

4 Tips on how to run an effective Pulse survey

Our 4 tips on how to run an effective Pulse survey are grounded in real-life learnings from our customers using the Pulse survey feature in Impraise since March 2020. For a full rundown of how to create effective Pulse Surveys, check out our article on doing so.

1. Keep it short and sweet

Use a limited number of questions (4-7 closed, 1-2 open questions) so people can complete it quickly.

2. Leave the survey open for 2-3 days

Circumstances are changing very quickly, which requires fast actions from HR and Leadership. This shows decisiveness, care, and agility which will in turn build trust, motivation, and performance.

We always see an initial peak in survey participation at the beginning and a large peak close to the deadline. Keep the survey open for only 2-3 days and you will get the insights you need without compromising on participation rates.

3. Gain leadership buy-in

Circumstances are changing very quickly, which requires fast actions from HR and Leadership. This shows decisiveness, care, and agility which will in turn build trust, motivation, and performance.

We always see an initial peak in participation at the beginning and a large peak close to the deadline. Keep the survey open for only 2-3 days and you will get the insights you need without compromising on participation rates.

4. Over-communicate

17 example questions to ask your people

We know you are busy so we’ve included example Pulse survey questions you can use to gauge how employees are feeling about transitioning back to office-based work, productivity, and the highest priority areas to address.

1. Personal situation: Please evaluate on a scale of 1 to 10 how easy or difficult remote working is for you? (1 = very easy; 10 = very difficult)

2. Productivity: Do you feel that you are more, equally, or less productive working from home? (multiple-choice: more/equally/less)

3. Office preferences: Would you like to return to the office in the near future? (multiple-choice: yes/no)

4. Office preferences: If yes, how many days a week would you like to work from the office?
(multiple-choice : 1-5)

5. Office preferences: What sort of measures would you like to see implemented for you to work from the office? (open-ended answer)

6. Office preferences: Is there any reason you would not want to work from the office? (open-ended answer)

7. Personal situation: Do you have any health issues that put you in the vulnerable category as per government guidelines? (open-ended answer)

8. Personal situation: Do you look after an individual that is classed as vulnerable per the Government guidelines? (multiple choice: yes/no)

9. Personal situation: Do you live with anyone over the age of 70? (multiple choice: yes/no)

10. Personal situation: Do you require child care for your children? (multiple choice: yes/no)

11. Personal situation: Do you have adequate child care options? (open-ended answer)

12. Personal situation: Do you use public transport to travel to work (yes/no)

13. Support: What is one thing our company could do right now to better support our people during this time? (open-ended answer)

Post-Corona questions to add into the mix

14. Work situation: How would you best describe your ideal working situation in relation to where you work and how you collaborate with others? (open-ended answer)

15. Work situation: How many days per week would you ideally work from the office post-Corona? Do you have a preference for which days of the week and if so, why? (open-ended answer)

16. Office work: What office-based activities would add the most value for you? For example: focus work, calls, 1:1s, team meetings, circle meetings, all-hands meetings, etc. (open-ended answer)

17. Office work: Are there certain team meetings/activities you think should be mandatory in-person? If so, which one(s), explain why and let us know the frequency and - if applicable - the preferred day. (open-ended answer)

Next in our Series

This week we launch our new Goals & OKR functionality, so next in our Remote Work & COVID-19 Response series, we will focus on Alignment through Goal Setting.

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