HR professionals say that hybrid working is important to retain employees, especially since the pandemic.

This is from a study by Microsoft that shows more than half of UK workers would consider quitting if there was no hybrid working.

O.C. Tanner’s 2022 Global Culture Report, meanwhile, found that while hybrid working has contributed positively to workers’ mental health, it has possibly stopped them feeling part of company culture. 

 

Does being at home mean workers don’t feel part of your company?

But, in the HR in Review podcast, diversity experts told us remote working has given people an opportunity to find out what is important to them and working from home – and flexibly – is part of this.

According to O.C Tanner, 20 percent of workers believe that two days each week in the office is enough to feel connected to the culture, with 18 per cent feeling that three days is better.          

The Report found in-person office experiences have a number of positive impacts on company culture, increasing engagement by 52 per cent and inclusion by 32 per cent.

It also says by providing employees with face-to-face opportunities to get to know each other personally. It says this doubles the chances of them having an improved employee experience, which also doubles the retention of staff.

This has become much more difficult with the latest rules for Plan B, expected to come into force from Monday December 13th.

Office workers are being asked by the government to stay home if they can and masks are also now mandatory in most public places. 

Meanwhile, places like nightclubs will need Covid passes for entry, which has been criticised by the trade union governing that area of hospitality. 

Robert Ordever is a workplace culture expert at OC Tanner Europe: “Being physically together in the office allows for collaboration, innovation and connection – all harder to achieve at a distance. In fact, the office is vital for facilitating social interaction, storytelling and memory making, all of which nurture a strong workplace culture.”   

 

Remote working is part of company culture

According to Glassdoor which analysed millions of employee reviews and salaries, despite the lack of feeling connected to office culture, remote work is one of the most important tools for companies in 2021. It also expects this continue into 2022. 

Glassdoor says with mandated home working, which is no longer ‘the secret superpower for employers who could afford to offer it’, employers need more attractive offers to recruit and retain talent.

Occasionally this means higher salaries, but Glassdoor says the culture and diversity of a company are even more important.

Glassdoor found that 72 percent of job seekers consider a diverse workforce as an important factor when deciding to work as a company. This, it believes, is in response to 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and other  movements.

Diversity and Inclusion more important than salary to workers

It expects employees to hold companies accountable for any promises of DEI target setting they may have made in the past 18 months.

What is most important is that the Glassdoor survey found that the drivers of employee satisfaction have not changed between 2019 and 2021, despite the pandemic. 

UK workers prioritise a company’s (1) culture and values, (2) quality of senior leadership and (3) access to career opportunities within the organisation, in that order. 

Compensation & benefits were the least important factors to UK workers and ranked below diversity & inclusion and work-life balance. 

Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor economist, comments: “2022 is looking to continue to be a job seeker’s market and the tight labour conditions will empower employees to demand more of their employers. The outlook for the economy is still uncertain but it is clear that companies need to focus on employee experience and engagement to attract and retain talent.”