Returning to Work 2021
When it comes to returning to the workplace, all you need to think about is how to get things back to the way they were, right? We were inspired to write this post to encourage employers to consider how this past year has affected their staff’s ability to do their job from home, and think about their attitude to home working as we head into the new normal.
An interview with Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed his thoughts on young people returning to the workplace. He mentioned that Britain's employers should consider ending their working from home practices and allow staff back in the workplace, to mitigate the risk of them ‘voting with their feet’ and quitting.
The Chancellor stated "I'm probably in the camp of saying that it's good that people are in offices together…" while requesting that employers begin investing and hiring when the lockdown rules are eased. He also mentioned that working in an office is important for young people to build relationships with colleagues, speak to mentors, and further their career.
The Chancellor claims that working from home doesn’t offer the same advantages to working with colleagues in the workplace. The latter of which allows the spontaneous “meetings that happen by chance" and "people riffing off each other".
He said: "Imagine you've just left college or university - you start this job in a big company and you're sitting at home on your own. How do you get to know your peers, how do you learn the culture of an organisation, how do you get those mentors, which are important for your career development?"
It is important that employers carefully consider their individual circumstances when deciding their stance on remote working. While some employers who keep their workplaces shut indefinitely risk losing the staff that do vote with their feet, others may need to consider the health risks and effect on engagement that returning to the workplace might cause.
While the Chancellor’s interview praised the “spontaneity, the team building and culture that you create … from people actually spending physical time together", it’s ultimately a decision that should be made with the best interest of your staff at it’s core.
Employers should welcome the input of their staff in this decision and could do so through anonymous surveys. Given the level of increased flexibility and childcare commitments, you may be surprised to find the appetite for remote/flexible working requests is larger than you thought.
At Amica HR, we have a wealth of experience in helping businesses reopen safely. If you want to find out how we can work in partnership with you to benefit your business, you can contact a member of the team on 01522 370190 or 0207110 0006 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .