Many companies are asking employees to return to the office. This decision is either implemented or under consideration in companies globally. Senior business leaders mention that the pandemic curve has flattened, and companies are exhausting valuable resources in a hybrid setup. But is work from the office an effective solution to enhance workforce productivity? According to A Reset for Return to Office report, most participants preferred working from home because it allowed them to improve their work-life balance. In her article for IT Brief, Shannon Williams shares why companies should rethink “return to work” policies.
Why Employees Hesitate to Return to the Office
Many remote employees mention that going to the office leads to various expenses. The cost of living has increased with rising inflation and that leads personnel to want to work from home. Commuting is another crucial reason why employees prefer not to return to work. In a recent Poly study that surveyed 5,000 employees, most respondents mentioned that the time wasted in commuting affects their energy level. Besides, companies do not have much to offer in the work-from-office model that will encourage employees. Bill Zeng, senior director at APAC, Poly, says, “The return to office lacks a compelling narrative, and short-term gimmicks like free coffee and doughnuts have run their course.”
What Factors Should Leaders Include in Their Narrative
Senior leadership must focus on the decisive work components that make work from the office a compelling prospect. Face-to-face collaboration makes it easier for the workforce to brainstorm ideas and execute plans effectively. According to Zeng, “People need a reason to return, so organizations must carefully assess the office experience they aim to deliver and how this equates to the remote working experience -an equality of experience, whether in-office or remote, is key to a successful hybrid working model.”
Companies should assess the cultural and technical shifts that have taken place after the pandemic. Organizations should not force employees to return to work. Instead, they should encourage them to do so by implementing effective workforce-oriented policies.
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