Full presence leads to loss of workers or ability to attract talent, experts say
The prepandemic office is not dead, against the future many predicted. “These statements are exaggerated; most companies will keep their offices, even if they will use them in a more flexible way,” explains Eva Rimbau, professor of economic and business studies at UOC. According to a survey of 4,000 workers, 69% of remote workers would feel comfortable returning to the office, although 80% of employees say they enjoy working remotely. “We are entering the era of flexibility, there is no doubt about it, and companies will have to adapt if they want to have the best,” warns Manel Fernndez Jaria, collaborating professor at UOC Economics and Business Studies. In fact, 76% say that if they were to look for a job, they would look for one with the option of working remotely. “Companies that don’t adapt will have a hard time attracting talent because they don’t have a flexible or worker-friendly work-life balance policy. People won’t want to work under what conditions, ”Jaria adds.
The majority option, 2 or 3 days of teleworking
Between daily teleworking and full-time presence at the office, there are hybrid models. “This is and will be the most frequent model in positions that allow teleworking,” said Rimbau. Numerous post-pandemic studies claim that workers want to continue teleworking, keeping at least one day at a distance, and a high percentage prefer 3 to 4 remote days per week. The mixed model – according to Jaria – is the most likely to stay, face-to-face meetings will be necessary, but the actual work will be done remotely. Proposals such as the “three plus two” week, three days in the office and two telecommuting, are some of the options, although, according to experts, they depend on the employees themselves. A recent study, A Sustainable Workplace, indicates that only 12% of employees surveyed want to work remotely all week and only 4% want to work in person every day at the office. The majority option is hybridization and flexibility. Telecommuting two days (32%) or three days (36%) per week is the most popular and, under ideal conditions, improves performance by 19% and quality of work by 10%, the same percentage as pride of the work increases. study notes. “There are no formulas to forbid going to the office one day or another, the answer will be the employees and the activities to be carried out; continuing to ask for a presence in companies can be problematic, the important thing is to find the best way to organize work in a company, ”warns Rimbau.
The traditional office is evolving
For Jaria, the traditional office will coexist with other models of work organization, coliving, workations, hybrid models, week 2-3, face-to-face, weekly, quarterly … team loyalty increases. remotely, and it appears to be, ”says Jaria. In fact, according to the Morning Consult survey, 70% of workers say they are more productive working from home.
The office will not die, but it will change. “There will be companies with their own headquarters, totally transformed and adapted to the new flexible presence. There will also be companies with a shared seat. Staff meetings will be more focused on networking, inspiration, coexistence, company training or specific meetings with clients, ”explains Jaria.
During COVID-19, teleworking was an emergency solution and the pandemic context did not accompany: an uncertain future, children at home and the affected economy. According to Gallup, during the worst months of the pandemic, telecommuters worked more hours and more weekends than before and suffered more feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety than working in person. “The effects of the pandemic are mixed with the effects of telework, remote work that was poorly planned and with few tools,” says Rimbau, who adds that “pre-pandemic and post-pandemic studies confirm that people want continue to telecommute. , even if it involves more intensity, more pressure and makes social support from peers difficult. “
Precisely, to avoid these effects, Professor Jaria offers seven tips:
Having and knowing the working tools – giving a lot of support at this stage – helps to gain confidence. Prepare the mentality, to connect to telework. “Learning to be your own boss is important so that you can end the day without feeling guilty,” says Jaria. Support in the design of the new home work environment. Apply the principles of ergonomics, to take advantage of performance and take care of health at work. Learn the habits of time management and task management. “You have to move towards ‘hyperproductivity’ which is linked to doing the important things, it is not a question of accumulating hours but of results”, explains Jaria. Emotional support that improves socialization and connection with the values of the organization. Teleworking does not mean putting up barriers to communication. Know how to manage from a distance. “There are managers who feel they have lost control. We will have to help them understand that everything has changed and that they must learn about the new model by designing results-oriented jobs, ”he explains. “Most importantly, ask people how they feel, to find out how the company can help them,” concludes Jaria.