Returning Your Team to the Office: Is it Worth the Investment?

Many businesses shut their doors in 2020, only to never reopen. Along the way, many businesses found that team productivity actually increased by remote working and more of a work-life balance. In this blog, we’ll evaluate the costs and benefits of transitioning finance teams back to in-person work arrangements, considering factors such as productivity, employee satisfaction, and the evolving nature of work. 

Instead of forcing RTO, compromise:

According to studies and surveys from Standford, SHRM, and other institutions, more than 65% of employees have quit their company based on forced in-office demands of five days a week. This has much to do with flexibility, feelings of lack of trust, time, and money saving that employees saw during fully remote work years. Employees also felt more productive when they were given space and trust to get the job done, yet flex time to go to an appointment or pick up a child from daycare or school. And the amount of time saved from commuting to an office was greater than 70%. For companies still debating how to handle in-office transition, consider cost savings for gas mileage, turnover, and productivity by “forcing” employees back to the office and micro-managing in-office check-ins. Consider a hybrid scenario. It’s a great compromise, and it gives you the in-office desirability you need or want. It also gives the employees flexibility to work from home a couple of days a week. Doing this saves you and your HR staff time from needing to hire new employees due to high turnover and builds an office environment of trust and healthy work practices.

Consider collaboration:

Collaboration can happen both remotely and in person. If you can institute a hybrid situation, then you are fostering and allowing this in-person collaboration, which increases innovation. However, the other upside of only having in-office staff a few days a week is the cost savings for not needing to pay the same amount for electricity, gas mileage, on-site daycare, reduced paid parking, etc. There are advantages to “closing the office” at least one day a week and allowing employees to work from home. Another way to solve the “collaboration” conundrum is to have off-site staff days. This can be anything from recurring golf outings to team-building days or community volunteer days. This offers staff the opportunity to be together, talk, and discuss work while building other skills or doing something valuable in the community. Many studies have shown that both remote and in-office productivity increases through collaboration. So, there is no definitive answer on which is better. The biggest thing you can do is trust your employees, show them you trust them, offer flexibility, and let go of micro-managing (unless a specific employee or team really needs it).

May reduce loneliness: 

Having employees back in the office reduces the loneliness that remote work has contributed to. However, one thing the pandemic did was decrease our connections to other human beings. Having teams back in the office increases these connections, offers support both professionally and emotionally, and allows team building. Ultimately, the biggest disconnect among the “do I or don’t I” argument for RTO mandates comes down to micro-managing employees and not compromising with your staff. Many leaders are finding that work-life balance has become invaluable and worth more than money to teams. If you want to keep the best of the best working for you, then it’s time to collaborate and offer compromises instead of forcing the issue.

For help finding the all-stars you’ve been missing and building that great work culture, get in touch with our team!

PrideStaff Financial has consistently won awards for exceptional client satisfaction. Our highly skilled staffing consultants can support your management teams and company mission. Contact us today to learn more.