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‘Employers need to give hybrid workers a reason to return’

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A report from Poly warns that hybrid work policies could be destined to fail if organisations do not protect company culture while facilitating a return to the office.

Getting employees back to the office is a challenge being fuelled by a reluctance to return, with staff citing concerns over their work-life balance and productivity. This reluctance is being exacerbated by the increased cost of living, putting pressure on employees’ finances. In the three months to June, figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that taking inflation into account, wages fell 3% – the biggest drop for 20 years. 

Paul Clark, Poly’s senior vice-president EMEA, said: “The return to the office lacks a compelling narrative, and short-term gimmicks like free coffee and doughnuts have run their course. Hybrid workers need a good reason to return. The culture must be maintained, so organisations need to think about the total experience – how spaces work and the technology behind them – and address cultural issues. Doing this will help to magnetise their workforce to the office, instead of mandating a return or using ‘guerrilla tactics’ to force employees back.” 

“Getting hybrid workers back to the office is pivotal to an effective hybrid work model, but the country is facing a perfect storm. The cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact on finances, leaving many employees weighing up whether to travel or save the money to spend elsewhere. More than ever, employees are asking why they need to come in – but this question isn’t being answered. Organisations should focus on protecting culture. But they must also provide staff with a compelling reason to return to the office that makes it worth their time, and money, while also implementing the technology required to enable employees to work from anywhere.” 

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