Many organizations have spent the last couple of years with their employees working from home at least some of the time. Now that restrictions are being lifted in many places, both employers and employees face the question of whether returning to the office is necessary and whether it’s a good idea. Many employers may be thinking that it’s essential to return to normal office working, but many employees would rather not return full-time. So what should you do about it? Is bringing everyone back to the office the right thing to do or is there another option?
Do You Really Need Your Employees in the Office?
The first thing you should do is allow yourself to think about whether it’s really necessary to have everyone working in the office all the time. Rather than just assuming it’s the right thing to do, you can take the opportunity to consider a reshuffle of how you organize your business. It can be a great chance to look into upskilling & reskilling your employees, redeploying people into different roles and departments, and generally changing the way you work. Look back over how your staff has performed while remote working (taking into account any teething problems) and assess whether it has been a positive for your organization.
The Benefits of Remote Working
Remote working has both benefits and drawbacks. Most employees, even those who prefer to work from home, recognize both. If you ask your employees, they will often give benefits such as having more time to themselves, being more flexible with their time and saving money. If you’re wondering what’s in it for you as an employer, all of these things could lead to happier and more productive employees. You could reduce staff turnover and you could save money for your business with a reduced need for office space.
The Drawbacks of Remote Work
Remote working can have its downsides too. Many employers feel like they have less control and oversight of their employees. Others feel that some tasks, such as training, are often more difficult to carry out remotely than in person. Some employees say they miss socializing in the office and feel more disconnected when working from home too. Some things can be a little trickier to handle for remote workers too. For example, ensuring a healthy working environment is still the employer’s responsibility. Another issue could be people who are ill still trying to work from home and not turning out their best work.
How the Hybrid Model Could Help
Many employers are turning to a hybrid model as the perfect solution. Using hybrid working allows employees to work from home some of the time but come into the office some of the time too. An employee might split their time so they spend two or three days per week at home and the rest in the office. This can save employers money on office space and allow employees to have some of the necessary in-person contacts with colleagues and clients.
Whether you bring your staff back to the office or not, communicate with them about what they prefer and why.