Time to go back to the office … here’s why
The Great Resignation or mass exodus of employees after COVID-induced reassessment of their jobs is already an issue impacting human resource management – and now there is another: employers have drawn a line in the sand and given remote workers an ultimatum: come back to the office or face the consequences! But this needn’t be a carrot or stick situation; actually, it can be turned into a way to strengthen human capital.
Yes, COVID-19 has made sure that our work habits have changed, and absolutely, employers and employees have had to adapt. Many industries have struggled – and continue to struggle – with facilitating remote work. One of the major drawbacks to remote work has been the psychological impact of working in isolation.
We have found that working remotely and away from each other has shifted the focus of some colleagues and added pressure to what are normally cordial and productive relationships.
Working alone for prolonged periods of time means that the employee becomes used to their way of doing things, their routine, which makes them less amicable to input and differences of opinion.
But the ‘great return’ scenario doesn’t have to regress into some kind of weird push-and-pull situation or battle of interests.
Research shows that central to the argument for a return to the office is employee wellbeing and achieving a sense of ‘normality’ that has been lacking since the outbreak of the pandemic.
UK office design company Morgan Lovell answers the question, ‘Why your people still need the office’, with insight on its website highlighting addressing a sense of isolation as a result of working from home, that people are naturally happier in groups, and that being at the office naturally aligns peoples’ focus, targets and concentration.
Forbes online acknowledges resistance by employees to return to work on site, but also raises the ‘X-factor” which, although abstract, is really the dynamism involved in camaraderie and team spirit that every business needs.
Leadershipfreak.blog adds to the list of solid reasons to go back to the office and mentions collaboration, creativity, productivity, culture building, mentoring, reduction of tech fatigue, and career opportunities.
We can relate to this list and have long advocated that for businesses to be able to function with as much ‘normality’ to their human resources as possible, they need to focus on being teamwork-centric and prepare for greater levels of productivity.
We also know that having employees back in the office minimises miscommunication, minimises internal meetings and saves time, and there is less loneliness, which means a happier workforce.
However, the counter-argument, as detailed by online human resource and recruitment agencies like Flexjobs.com certainly carries weight. Cost savings and less commute stress are major considerations, as are a healthier work-life balance, customisable work environment and improved productivity and performance.
Ultimately, there can be no right or wrong answer to this situation, nor is there a ‘silver bullet’ – so much depends on the size of a company, its core focus/ business, its human resource dynamics and setup, capital and so on.
As always, CRS Technologies is ready to help.