Choosing where your employees should work didn’t use to be a question (for most businesses). And then Covid happened, forcing many companies to test the remote work waters. It’s been an experiment of epic proportions and long-lasting implications, and many companies are now deciding whether to stick with WFH or come back to the office — and it’s a cut-and-dry decision.
The pandemic turned workplace culture on its head, showing employees the desirable alternative to on-site work. At the time, it made perfect sense since that was the only way for many companies to keep business going. But now, they’re at a crossroads with no single best answer.
Here’s how you can evaluate whether remote, hybrid, or in-office work is the best approach for your business.
Start With Your Customer
Your customer is essential to your business, and your employees should be located where they can cater to customers’ greatest needs.
Interfacing with customers face-to-face is a no-brainer; your employees need to be in the office. For employees who only serve customers on the phone, location is irrelevant. If customers are required to set appointments to meet with an employee in-office, a hybrid schedule might work since your employees can plan ahead of time to come into the office.
The ideal setup might look differently for different employees and job functions. Employers should consider the impact that a case-by-case approach might have on the overall culture.
Include Your Employees in the Decision
While it’s widely believed that most employees want to work remotely, keep in mind that not everyone agrees. Some employees that don’t have dedicated home offices or have other family members working from home might want to have an office to go to each day, for example.
Never assume what your employees want. Instead, have a candid conversation as a group, individually, or in survey form to learn their preferences and reasons for wanting a certain approach. This can be very revealing about their priorities and sentiments toward work.
Remove or Reduce Obstacles that Create Pushback
Many companies calling employees back to the office are experiencing significant pushback. Employees have their reasons for not wanting to go back to the way things were, citing everything from toxic cultures to open office layouts to commute times and more.
If you believe in-office work is the best approach, be prepared to hear employees’ concerns and act on them. Removing obstacles can make the workplace more welcoming, plus it shows you care about your employees’ concerns and well-being.
Bottom Line: You Have to Do What’s Best for Business
Choosing remote, hybrid, or in-office work isn’t one size fits all. You need to consider what’s best for the business in terms of serving customers, retaining talent, and creating an overall positive place to work.
Contact us today to learn how we support your business, no matter where or how you work.