Change Specialists - Simplifying Change

The Great Return Needs Great Communication

With many organisations welcoming staff back to the office this Spring senior leader’s enthusiasm for returning to the office might, to some, suggest old school thinking, with some studies highlighting a leadership team-employee disconnect with regards future working models.  

Last summer The Future Forum surveyed 10,000 workers globally, finding three quarters (75%) of executives expressing a desire to work from the office 3-5 days per week compared to one third (34%) of staff. 44% of executives who have worked completely remotely through the pandemic, said they wanted to come back to the office every day, only 17% of staff said the same.

Many staff have missed the informal connections and culture that an office setting offers, however their default position has shifted, and they no longer want to spend time commuting into offices every day. They also put high value on the flexibility and work life balance that remote working can offer. 

Against a backdrop of staff shortages across the UK, staff who don’t believe their organisation is being transparent on post pandemic remote working, by documenting and promoting a robust home working policy, are reporting low levels of employee satisfaction This in turn is impacting staff retention, and the ability for organisations to attract and hire new talent.

Finding the right balance is at the heart of successful hybrid working. Organisations want to keep control of productivity, encourage collaboration, and build company culture. Their staff want to choose where and when they work to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Leaders should be encouraged to listen to their staff, consulting on plans for their future work model and offering a channel for them to raise questions or concerns.