Why Some Employees Are Not Happy About Returning To The Office
You can’t make everyone happy. As leaders plan to open offices and prepare for employees to return, employees are anxious about returning and losing the newly found work-life balance of remote work.
Before COVID, only 5% of full-time employees (with office jobs) worked primarily from home. In our new normal, that figure will average 20-30% depending on occupation and industry.
While some employees will argue that productivity has increased while remote, other areas have suffered because of the lack of human interaction.
Lost collaboration is one of the biggest complaints/hurdles that leaders face currently and are looking to solve with returning to the office. The challenge in returning is addressing the fear and anxiety of employees and how to balance their new normal.
“When you lose connections, you stop innovating. It’s harder for new ideas to get in and groupthink becomes a serious possibility.” Dr. Nancy Baym, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft
What’s the best model for your company?
Remote, in office or hybrid? Most leaders we talk with are implementing a hybrid model to build confidence and get back the collaboration that might have been lost during the pandemic. “Leaders must look for ways to foster communication, cross-team collaboration, and spontaneous idea-sharing that’s been driving workplace innovation for decades”, and hybrid might be the answer.
Nervous about going back?
You’re not alone. According to a recent post on LinkedIn, “there are some who have “hit a wall” and feel as if the only way to shake off their malaise would be a return to offices and some semblance of normal. Yet, many workers have enjoyed the shift, and feel a sense of dread and anxiety about crowded long commutes, overpriced lunches and inane small talk”.
So what can you do to ensure an effective and safe transition?
Communicate and compromise. Take a look at how Microsoft is evolving their own hybrid work strategy for 160,000+ employees around the world. The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready?
Returning to the Office Sparks Anxiety and Dread for Some (NYTimes.com)
After a year of working remotely, some employees are not keen to go back to the office, and, so far, employers are being receptive to their concerns. How long will employers remain flexible?
9 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2021 and Beyond (HBR.org)
As we move into 2021 and beyond, the rate of disruption will potentially accelerate as the implications from 2020 play out across the next several years. Here are nine predictions from the chief of research for Gartner’s HR practice.
It’s time to reimagine where and how work will get done (PWC.com)
In many companies, determining what to do with the office is the focal point of a much larger discussion. The success of remote work has reimagined how corporate work gets done, as well as where the work takes place.