ORDERING WORKERS BACK TO THE OFFICE – BE CAREFUL!
A significant number of employers are starting to evaluate whether or not to ask their workforce back into the office. The reality is that most senior management don’t really believe they will be able to do this without a major fallout of staff. A recent Harvard Business Review study reported that as high as 40% will leave their current employment if they are forced back to the office. With the current shortage of skilled staff, many of these ‘stay at home’ converts will be quickly employed by organisations with a more flexible approach to hybrid working models.
Why do so many people want to retain the option of working from home? The ability for many to work from home and achieve the lifestyle they seek combining professional and family, has been significantly enhanced through working from home. It has become completely acceptable to have your 5 year old assistant ‘photo bomb’ a Zoom or similar meeting.
Such instances provide light relief at a level far different to the bosses one liner jokes, which we had to tolerate in pre-COVID meeting environments. A further important consideration is the cost of childcare, which can be significantly reduced in the new world. We have new home rules but in most cases they improve general obedience and interaction between family members. Very importantly the new world in which we live has provided a segue back in to the workplace for many sought after skills, regardless of gender, enabling previous stay at home partners to return to the workplace, at least in some capacity, given greater flexibility in the family dynamic.
An extension of this point provides further reason for demanding the ability to work from home, namely work-life balance, and many families are very happy with the more interactive family model they now enjoy.
There is sometimes as much as 10 hours travel time per week to share, each working day you take minutes not hours to commute to your office. Additionally everyone can juggle ‘at home’ chores within the work schedule so much more gets done.
Greater focus, less wasted time in the office environment, carefully planning work needs within the at-home lifestyle, better use of technology and streamlining of process on the back of greater accountability are just a few of the productivity enhancements enjoyed in the work from home environment.
The other elephant in the room, particularly now we have experienced the delta strain of COVID, is the potential contagion associated with today’s viral world – after all that is how we got to this point. The chance that you will be working in a contaminated office environment has never been greater. Transmission of an infectious disease directly or indirectly is heightened in groups.
Management needs to be very careful when making decisions to bring their employees compulsorily back into the office environment. On a lighter note, if you would like a career opportunity to personally make your own decisions on all of the above and more, as well as own your own business, consider becoming a Tanner Menzies Licensee. Provided you can recruit, the rest is your choice!
Call Peter Gleeson 0419367569, Ian Stacy 0417478229 or Peter Tanner 0419826637 to hear more or visit tannermenzies.net.au.
Written by Peter Gleeson.