Future of Work News

Forcing Employees to Return to the Office Isn't Working


Even though we are now two years past the pandemic shutdowns of 2020, the subject of remote working and maintaining a better work-life balance continues to take center stage at most businesses. With employees reluctant to return, organizations are looking for ways to add hybrid capabilities in hopes that it will at least attract workers back to the in-person office setting on a part-time basis.

All of this is also happening during a time that’s been referred to as “the great resignation” where employees are now focused more on their personal goals and home and are prioritizing it above work.

The bottom line: Employers must aim to create a welcoming environment that attracts employees, rather than coercing them into returning to work. Getting employees back to the office and working successfully in a hybrid model will require companies to embrace flexibility.

To find an even balance and help drive better workplace culture, a new study from Poly, “Journey to Hybrid Working” has found that collaboration tools – particularly tools forced on delivering workplace equity – play a major role in transitioning to this new way of working.

"In today's modern-day hybrid working landscape, it's become imperative that organizations deliver an equitable work experience for those in the office and those working remotely," said Carl Wiese, Executive Vice President, and Chief Revenue Officer, Poly. "To navigate a successful return to the office, employers need to take into account the total workplace experience, which consists of workspaces, preferred workstyles, and the right collaboration technology that enables employees to do their best work."

Factors that are driving workers to realize they don’t want to go back to the office include increases in cost of living and inflation. As a result, many are simply choosing to not return to commuting to work each day.

To drive a desire to return, more powerful technology solutions, better collaboration tools, and redesigned workspaces that support hybrid work at just the beginning changes that need to happen to help shift workforce mentality and create a strong return to office culture. Basically, what businesses must understand is, if they aren’t prepared to embrace a full-remote model, they have to create environments that make workers want to be in the office a few days a week.

"True flexibility in the world of work comes from a mix of work modes. The return to the office is an essential part of that mix," said Jeremy Myerson, Director of WORKTECH Academy. "If organizations want to properly implement a hybrid working model, then they need to move faster to bring at least some of their people back to the office."

Edited by Erik Linask

Future of Work Contributor

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