There’s no doubt that (most of your) employees enjoy working remotely. Survey after survey, including our own research from Hibob, tells the same story—that the flexibility and autonomy created by remote work have led to a happier workforce. Now that vaccine distribution is picking up, employees can safely come back to the office. But what if they don’t want to?
Flexibility leads to an increase in employee happiness and wellbeing
The work from home experiment helped many employees realize that they enjoy the flexibility of remote work. Recent data from Hibob shows that only 10% of employees want to return to the office full-time, with 36% of employees saying they would quit if forced to return
Hybrid work—which allows people to work in-office and remotely—presents a “best of both worlds” opportunity for bringing employees back to the office. Hybrid work allows employees to enjoy the freedom of remote work while reaping the benefits of the office space as a nexus of collaboration, socialization, and company culture. Allowing people to work when and where they want establishes trust between managers and employees. When employees are given the space and trust to deliver, they feel good and will work hard to maintain that trust.
Flexibility empowers employees to work the way they want to
Hybrid work allows employees to work from anywhere and set their working hours—a big boost to wellbeing. Outside of the office, employees can enjoy more time with the people (or pets) they love, whether that’s long walks with the dog, or lunch with the family. Think about working parents who want to log off early to pick their kids up from school or employees who are night owls and get their best work done after dinner. The companies that allow employees to set their schedules—and measure performance on quality and output instead of time spent plugged in—will find significant benefits to employee wellbeing and productivity. For example, Hibob’s new remote work policy allows employees to work from anywhere in the world, which for our global workforce is a game-changer. With flexible policies, employees don’t have to choose between personal and professional obligations.
Continue to monitor employee wellbeing as employees head back to the office
The importance of caring for mental health has taken on new precedence since the pandemic. More companies are offering employees mental health days, encouraging PTO, and providing benefits such as subsidized therapy. People need time to adjust to being in the office and HR needs to be respectful of this and give people time to find their rhythm. Additionally, companies can use surveys to gauge how their people feel. Start the conversation by asking simple questions like, “what do you miss most about working from the office?" vs "what do you enjoy about working from home?" The answers from these surveys can help HR better address the specific needs of their employees and make the transition back to the office easy on everyone.