A Gallup poll conducted recently among all types of workers has predicted that even when people do return to work, 37% of desks will be empty. To be sure, some employees are chomping at the bit to return to in-person work (10%), but a majority want to see a hybrid schedule (60%) and some (30%) never want to step foot inside an office again.
Employees who had felt overworked and consumed by their jobs were granted an unexpected reprieve when a majority of the workforce transitioned into remote work. Many beleaguered employees were suddenly met with more flexibility and free time than they’ve had in years, allowing them to spend time with family. Their long unproductive commutes were suddenly repurposed into time for exercise, making a great cup of coffee or eating a decadent breakfast.
While some relished in remote work, others noticed negative impacts on their work over time. The people who want to return tofull in-person work cite the lack of growth and development opportunities, the culture that’s formed in the office, and a rapport with coworkers.
As we enter 2022, what’s top of mind for considering how and where we will work in the New Year?
Offices that can will most likely end up balancing both perspectives by going the hybrid route, but what does that mean? Richad Tobaccowala, former Chief Growth Officer and Chief Strategist for Publicis, one of the largest global communications firms, speaks to an emerging mindset that isn’t as simple as spending some days in the office and some days at home.
Instead, he presents the idea of an “unbundled workplace” that combines four different spaces for where work will take place.
To read more about all these please read Rishad Tobaccowala’s article here.
In addition to thinking about how companies will need to structurally adapt to a hybrid structure, top of mind for many is how to keep employees happy and healthy in the face of the challenges that hybrid working presents.
Of course, many professions don’t have the option to operate remotely but the ones that do will have to balance the unique employee needs and concerns that come up in each of those scenarios.
So let’s talk about some of the benefits and concerns that arise from having a hybrid working environment and what you can do to solve them!
If employees are dispersed, it can be hard to make sure everyone is listened to and included. This may lead to employees who work on site getting preferential treatment or even just being perceived as getting preferential treatment.
Make sure you have very clear policies in place for how you promote/incentivize/recognize employees. If you do this, it will help you to avoid preferential treatment for those that come into the office. Make sure you have regular check-ins with both your in-person employees and remote employees. Check to see how they’re feeling, if they feel seen, heard, appreciated, etc.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to be ready for whatever life throws at you (and anyone who has lived through the past two years knows that can be a lot!). Working from home is no longer thought of as playing hooky or goofing off: “Deskless workers…make up almost 70% of the global workforce” (You can download Josh Bersin’s HR predictions for 2022 here). If you remain open, and ready to adapt to life’s challenges you should fare well.
There’s a lot of unfamiliar territory that companies will have to traverse as a result of the pandemic and our now fundamentally changed attitudes around work. The companies that are successful will be the ones willing to try new things and listen to feedback from their employees.
A company’s employer brand is simply the perception people outside of a company have about what it’s like to work there – whether it’s accurate or not!