Encouraging staff back into the office
Over the pandemic, employees in a variety of roles showed that their jobs could be done effectively from home, and few companies have returned to a policy of asking their employees to work in the office on a full-time basis. A number of employers are tracking staff office attendance – this information can form part of annual reviews, informs the office size/internal fit-out an employer requires and is relevant to the level of employee pay and benefits offered.
Ultimately, if there is a sound business reason for a requirement to attend the office, employers can insist that employees attend the workplace. The starting-point for employers is to look at their contracts and policies – the vast majority of employees’ place of work is an office. Employers will want to ensure they encourage a collaborative working environment and that employees are working effectively in teams for the benefit of the business.
Many employers are finding it hard to create a sense of identity and cohesion without employees being in the office for at least 3 days a week and are also concerned that employees who work predominantly at home are missing out on learning and development and are not fully integrated into the team. In the UK many staff have the right to request to work flexibly, which includes a right to request to work from their home – employers will be balancing the needs of the business with their employees as they fight to attract and retain talent in the post-pandemic environment.