What Research Says About People Returning To the Office

What Research Says About People Returning To the Office

Since Covid occurred, it’s taken years for the workforce to return to normal. In fact, it’s still not back to the usual swing of things. As the impact of the pandemic lessened, most employers hesitated to bring their workers back into the office. They allowed for a hybrid or completely remote work environment, and still do. Learn more about the reality of people coming back to the office and find out what the research has to say about the topic.

What’s So Great About a Hybrid Work Environment?

According to the research done by Stanford University, there are multiple benefits of using a hybrid schedule in the workplace. For one, employees prefer it to the traditional model. In a time when there are more job vacancies than workers, employers need to appease their prospective employees. Offering a hybrid work model is one easy way to do that.

Another benefit of this model is higher morale. Employees are happier at work when they aren’t in the office 100% of the time. And when employees are happy, they’re more productive and have longer retention rates. In one survey of employees in Great Britain, employees admitted that they preferred working in the office for three days each week. They saw this as so much of a benefit that they were willing to lose 6% of their wages for the benefit.

Lower Costs

By staggering work-from-home days, employers can have a small office without downsizing their employees. A smaller office means less overhead costs. Rent, utilities, and office expenses all drop. Furthermore, if an employer does offer a lower salary with the hybrid model, they can save money on wages,

Employees also save money. When they work from home, they don’t need to deal with gas or electric car charging prices. They also have less wear and tear on their vehicles. Additionally, working from home saves employees money on food and clothing.

Increased Efficiency

As previously mentioned, employees who work from home even part of the time are happier. They have higher productivity and efficiency levels. As an employee, this can help you thrive and climb the corporate ladder. Employers also benefit from increased productivity.

Are Employers Returning People to the Office?

One could say that more employers are having their workers return to the office. However, they’re not returning on a full-time level. Instead, employers are embracing the hybrid model. According to a 2023 State of Organizations report, 90% of organizations welcome the hybrid work model. Four out of every six employees who worked in a hybrid model want to continue to do so.

That’s not to say that employers are having an easy time bringing people back to the office. During Covid, companies didn’t have time to create clear, effective hybrid work policies. And effective hybrid policies differ greatly from effective remote or full office policies.

Even employees want to have good policies in place. In a Gartner HR study, research revealed that employees are 12% more likely to leave their hybrid job if there are no clearly defined policies. For instance, employees like to have meeting-free days and transparent expectations. Employees also want to feel connected with everyone else in the workplace, or their satisfaction decreases.

How Employers Can Make the Most of Returning to the Office

As employers embrace the hybrid model and people return to the office, there are steps they can take to improve the situation. Thanks to the research about working in different types of environments, employers can easily accommodate the shift to a hybrid model.

Use the Right Tech

If you’ve ever worked from home for any period of time, you know the importance of having the right tech. And the technology isn’t only important for remote workers. It matters for those who work from home some days and in the office on other days. With technology like Slack and Microsoft Teams, employees can stay in touch wherever they work from.

File-sharing software like Dropbox and Google Drive allow employers to access their files from both their home and work computers. Additionally, they can easily share files with others in their company. Zoom and Google Meet give the face-to-face experience that’s often required for clear communication.

Make the Office Seem Less Empty

There’s something so sad about working in an empty space. If an employer hasn’t gotten rid of empty desks, they’re not doing their best. To make the environment more welcoming, employers should move out empty desks and up the decor. A change in layout could make all the difference.

Keep Meetings on the Same Day and Time

With regular meetings, you can keep your employees happier. Instead of randomly meeting on certain days and times of the week, keep it routine. If the employees have input on the day and time of a weekly meeting, they’re more likely to be content.

Offer Traditional Experiences

While people prefer a hybrid work model, they still want to have the traditional work experience. This is particularly true for Generation Z. They feel like they’re missing out on the bonding and mentoring experiences. Try to offer traditional experiences on the days when everyone is in the office.

What Skills Do Employees Need to Return to the Office?

It’s true that employers need to make some adjustments for remote workers to become hybrid ones. But it’s also true that employees may need to make some adjustments as well. Here are a few practices that can ease the transition:

Schedule Face-Time

Try to schedule meetings on your office days. While video conferencing is great, it’s no substitute for human interaction. When you’re in the office, take the time to see people.

Request Feedback

Don’t hesitate to ask your manager for feedback. If you’re not sure about your performance, ask your manager how you can improve. Even if you think you’re performing well, ask for input. Doing so shows that you’re eager for growth.

Are You Returning to the Office?

The days of all remote work are over. More and more employers now offer hybrid work models, and employees are thriving.

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