Change is a constant...
A change could be on the way for millions of workers, as businesses prepare for a return to the office. But, should bosses be discussing the return to the office with their employees?
In stark contrast to the financial sectors decision to have staff return to the office, other businesses like the tech giant Facebook and insurance provider Aviva, are opting for a hybrid model. They say this allows for greater flexibility and independence for workers while maintaining certain structures. Facebook has stated that it believes remote work is the “future”. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has predicted that in five to ten years, 50% of the companies employees could be working remotely.
So how about meeting in the middle?
Most recently, Apple boss Tim Cook has instructed staff that they will be returning to the office for three days a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) with the option to work from home two days a week (Wednesday and Friday). So this split approach should work for all Apple employees, right? Not so much, as it turns out! Dozens of Apple employees have written a letter signalling their frustration with the return to work policy. Workers have said they’d prefer a more flexible approach, where those who want to work remotely can do so.
It is yet to be seen whether or not these plans will go ahead, given employee concerns are hitting the headlines. Cook, however, has stated numerous times that video calls from home “simply cannot replicate” some aspects of office life. A compromise needs to happen at Apple between the managers and their staff.
Expect some Nuance...
There’s certainly widespread demand for flexibility in the workforce. According to the software company Buffer’s 2021 state of remote work report, 97.6% of those surveyed would like to work remotely at least for some of the week.
But whether workers will return to public transport and Pret lunches, or transition to a new world of weekly virtual work, very much depends on the sector you work in, your job role and, more arbitrarily, what your boss wants.
Despite opposition to remote work in the majority of the financial sector, some execs have expressed a midway view. Daniel Pinto, COO of JP Morgan, shares his opinion “going back in to the office 100% of the people 100% of the time, I think there is zero chance of this. As for everyone working from home all the time, there is also zero chance of that”.
Pintos view is one shared by the majority of businesses and employees alike, a compromise needs to be made and both parties understand this. Newspaper headlines, however, would suggest a different story. Often written on key businesses and they often tend to generalise. Differences between businesses and employees are often overstated. The reality is much more nuanced and rather than sector, it will depend more on the nature of the work people do, the working patterns they have and their occupational profiles.
The message: don’t assume that remote work is going to stay… or go. But it is very unlikely that there are going to be hard and fast rules.
BDM Voice is here to help
Here at BDM Voice, we are committed to supplying our customers with the technology and services needed to ensure your business remains highly competitive. Whether working remotely, from the office or a hybrid of both, BDM can offer your business the perfect custom set-up.
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