Once the Covid-19 pandemic started to subdue the enthusiasm of many business leaders about returning to work from the office became almost palpable. Starting from Apple executive Tim Cook to NBC’s CEO Jeff Shell, numerous top-tier managers were racing to express how excited they were to gather in the offices and start working in person.
However, employees recognizing all the benefits of remote work seem reluctant to relinquish the increased work flexibility, stating that they would seek a new work environment if pressured to return to the office full-time.
Where Does This Clash In Opinions Stem From?
More importantly, are there efficient ways to bridge the gap between bosses and employees regarding the return to the office and the future of the workplace in general?
The answers depend on the different perspectives executives and employees have about this burning topic. According to the Future Forum survey, which included over 10,000 employees and top-tier managers 75% of executives were in favor of working from the office for 2 or 3 days a week, and only 25% of employees supported this idea.
So before you find ways to compromise with your employees and create an effective hybrid work environment, getting the most out of both worlds, let’s see what stands behind the discrepant attitudes toward returning to the office.
Why Employees Prefer Working Remotely
Another research focused on the employees’ impressions of remote work indicates that they were pleasantly surprised with an overall increase in work/life balance that leads to improved productivity and well-being.
Remote employees can use the time saved on commuting to accomplish more at their primary jobs ( 34.1%), enjoy various indoor and outdoor leisure activities (31.8%), and spend more time with children (10%).
For all these reasons, employees want to continue working from home at least 2 to 3 days a week now that the pandemic is nearing the end while employers are ready to offer 0.80 remote days to their workers on average.
These numbers show that the gap between employees and their bosses is wide and challenging. And if you are among those managers insisting employees come to the office more often, you need to be aware of this contrasting perception of the “ideal” workplace and do your best to bridge this gap.
Why Bosses Insist on Return to the Office
Business executives simply may not have the same working experience as their team members.
Most top tear managers have separate offices that offer peace and quiet needed for undisturbed focused work that many employees can’t find in the office.
They most likely don’t have the same childcare problems as their employees. This is why they may force workers to work mostly from the office, justifying this move by creating stronger interpersonal relationships, team collaboration, and increased productivity.
Many return-to-the-office advocates will say that hybrid or remote work affects team collaboration and productivity while ruining company culture. But numerous research on the topic prove them wrong, showing that remote workers were equally if not more productive than their office-based counterparts. They also didn’t have problems creating interpersonal relationships or a sense of belonging while working from home.
More importantly, business leaders can rely on ample advanced solutions like project management and video conferencing platforms to secure seamless remote collaboration. They can also deploy work tracking software to make sure their employees stay highly productive while working out of the office.
By using monitoring solutions in your hybrid workplace you’ll level the playing field for all your employees, providing much-needed visibility to your remote teams. In this way, you’ll be able to track, measure, and evaluate their performance without hovering constantly over their heads and micromanaging them.
So if you want your employees to come and work from the office more often, try using advanced technology to enhance cross-team collaboration and communication and provide fair and objective performance evaluation to all employees, remote and office-based by using information collected from quality monitoring platforms.