How can a hybrid work environment help employees get back to normalcy in 2021?
As the COVID-19 pandemic has been decelerating in some regions, certain companies are calling their workforce back to the office. Now the question is – are employees willing to readily return? Probably not – given the current circumstances.
A recent research study from Robert Half reveals that around 1 in 3 professionals (about 34%) who are currently working remotely would lookout for a new job if they are required to be in the original workplace full time.
Nearly 49% of all surveyed employees said they would prefer a hybrid Work Environment – where they can segregate time between the office and another location. Even if they are provided with the opportunity to function fully remotely, a few professionals expressed the below-mentioned concerns:
- The current relations with co-workers could slightly suffer – 28%
- Drop in productivity level while working from home – 26%
- Concerns about less career advancement prospects due to a lack of visibility – 20%
So what really are modern-age employees looking forward to?
Most professionals globally are not ready to return to their offices, and as a result, many employers are considering the aspects that could help ease the transition back on-site.
Workers noted some of the top ways that their company can support them for calling them back to the office –
- The freedom to set preferred work hours
- A personal, hygienic, and distraction-free workspace maintaining social distance
- Employer-covered commuting costs
- Relaxation in office dress code policy
- Employer managed childcare solutions
Certainly, after a year of dramatic change, some business leaders are eager to welcome staff back to the office to restore a sense of normalcy. Despite the timing, these organizations should take a carefully planned, hygienic, and measured office re-entry approach – keeping employees’ mental health, safety, and wellbeing on top priority.
In this context, Paul McDonald, Senior Executive Director at Robert Half explains – “But reopening doors will bring new obstacles for companies to navigate. Not all employees will be ready — or willing — to return to the workplace, so staying flexible and responsive to their needs will be critical.”
Clearly, keeping the above aspects in place, business decision-makers should use the opportunity to solicit their employees’ feedback in order to shape a safe corporate culture for the future.