Workplace and workforce logistics have been hot topics of conversation amongst our clients of late. Offering hybrid working in a bid to retain employees is valid assuming it actually does work for your teams and the company as a whole, or could it be that it’s back to bums on seats time?

Post pandemic new world order brought about a turbo charged evolution in our work places, and two years on we are mostly being told that changes have proved to be positive from a cost point of view. However, the remote working phenomenon brings negatives as well. This juxtaposition is being examined worldwide, and statistics are generally showing at least 80% of companies are now incentivising their employees back into the office.

The physical workplace has great purpose, and employees need to be reminded that they can miss out on integral aspects of work life and professional development. Being present provides opportunities to not only improve themselves but potentially professional standing within the business, much more so than when working remotely.

It helps build a close-knit community and with that brings a sense of belonging.

It can be frustrating for those wanting to work as a team when part of that team decides to work from home, and vice versa!! It’s not easy to please everyone, but if retention is your goal then finding a manageable solution is key.

However, if hybrid is not providing what the business needs then the question is how to incentivise a return, whilst providing a system that works for all.

We all know too well about the rising cost of living and commuting, so it will come as no surprise that money was the number one incentive to bring about a return to the office (around 60% in studies we looked at), along with subsidies for travel perhaps?

Hybrid and remote employees are absolutely loving the reduced stress and time regained from altered commuting habits, so other incentives are going to be needed to create an enticing return! Food was a popular choice, in fact we read that one company had a different type of food truck each day and, on a Thursday, a happy hour with a tab supplied, once word got out employees wanted in! Gym memberships are always well received, and with the spiralling cost of energy it’s worth reminding employees that it’s a great saving not to have to heat and light their homes if they are in the office.

Employers need to create a culture of convenience, make it fun and business relevant. Companies who already had an extremely positive, employee-focused work environment seem to be having better results with getting employees back into the office. A positive work environment, one which is flexible and communicative and supportive are the types of work places that retain and entice employees.