the ‘push back’ to the office – it’s far from over
The remote/hybrid/office working debate is far from over even if it is 2023. There are already clear signs from larger corporations that executives want employees in the office more frequently than what has been allowed/encouraged these past few years. Most notably, tech and finance firms are becoming firmer in requesting 3-5 mandatory office days per week. Noise in the media is predicting these layoffs will see roles re-advertised as office-based roles rather than remote or hybrid over the next few months. If this is the case, then it is clear larger corporations are fighting hard to realign power to the businesses rather than to the employee.
While the majority of employees do continue to advocate for work flexibility, this is made harder due to the current cost of living crisis. From a recruitment perspective, the talent shortage of the last couple of years has enabled candidates to freely set the terms of their work. And while there is still a shortage of talent, the destabilizing of the economy last year (which fortunately we are now seeing settle again) has provided employers with a window of opportunity to set parameters once more.
Fear not, as it certainly isn’t all doom and gloom. Talented employees are still able to negotiate a working style that is positive for both them and the business. And the majority of UK companies are looking to find a stable middle ground. Whereas firms that are pushing for office-based work will have to contend with resistance, diversity challenges as well as deal with a lack of employee loyalty.
What is great to see is the increased usage of open working spaces that provide employees with a choice. If we had to make a guess, we reckon more and more companies will be renting out shared workspaces to provide flexibility for employees while not having to be held ransom by rising rental rates. And why not, as these spaces are a winner for all.
For now, though expect to see more from both sides on the debate of flexible working!
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