Back to the office…for good?

Recent news reports reflect a trend towards a return to the office, with some companies even using in-person attendance as a measure in performance reviews.

In recent years, the seismic shift in working patterns means that at least some element of remote working is considered the norm.  Is that likely to be reversed?

Every business will have its reasons.  It has been suggested that in one instance, email traffic was down by 20% when a day working at home was piloted. What are the pros and cons of home and hybrid working for your business?


Cost Savings

Employees save on commuting, meals, and work attire. Employers can reduce overhead costs for office space, utilities, maintenance, and expenses. Together, there are environmental benefits.

Increased Productivity

While some reports suggest productivity may suffer, others suggest employees who work from home can be more productive. Removing the daily commute allows employees to start and end their day at times that suit them, working in a quiet environment, leading to more efficient workflows.

Broader Talent Pool

Home or remote working allows access to a broader talent pool to hire the best candidates, regardless of geography.


Communication challenges

Dispersed teams may find effective communication more difficult. Those ‘water cooler’ moments just won’t happen. Misunderstandings, delays, and the lack of non-verbal cues can stymie collaboration, creating inefficiencies.

Blurred lines

It can be harder to switch off, potentially leading to burnout and decreased productivity in the long run. The Labour Party has announced a plan to introduce a ‘right to switch off’.

Monitoring and accountability

Employers may find monitoring performance and ensuring accountability challenging when employees work from home. A physical presence makes for better supervision, enhancing productivity and the quality of work.

A balancing act

The key lies in striking the right balance. Hybrid working proves popular. To take full advantage, you could think about:

Redesigning office spaces to be more collaborative and flexible. Make the office a place employees want to be!

Flexible work schedules: to maintain collaboration and social interaction, agree on set days for working from home and core office days.

Communication: regular check-ins and team-building activities foster a sense of community.

Set clear boundaries: Encourage employees to establish a dedicated workspace and set clear working hours to prevent burnout.

Support mental health: Offer resources and programmes that recognise the challenges of remote working.

The future of work lies in the balance…

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