Employers requiring in-office attendance to enforce hybrid work

'Fully remote is not acceptable anymore'

Employers requiring in-office attendance to enforce hybrid work

Employers are making in-office attendance compulsory to enforce their hybrid work policies as they grow concerned of productivity gains stemming from remote work, according to a new report.

A survey by JLL among over 20,000 office workers across the world revealed that 33% of the respondents said their employers have implemented some form of compulsory attendance in their organisation.

Major firms such as Amazon and Meta are among the employers that were previously reported to implement mandatory office attendance to make employees report on-site.

This comes amid a widespread push from employers across the world on office returns as the pandemic wanes - with JLL's report finding that 87% of employers are already encouraging office at least some of the time.

"Fully remote is not acceptable anymore," the report said, citing employers' perspectives.

Why bring back employees?

Having face-to-face collaboration emerged as the top reason by employers for encouraging their staff to work from the office, with 87% of the respondents citing this. Other reasons include:

  • Cultivating company culture (61%)
  • Potential productivity gains (51%)
  • Increased social connections (47%)
  • Ability to manage people (39%)
  • Increased innovation (32%)
  • Mentorship and development (32%)

According to the report, the findings indicate that employers are becoming more aware of the importance of working at the office after years of hybrid work.

"Employers associate on-site work with new benefits, beyond improving collaboration, social connection and cultural bonds; they see it as a significant contributor to employee productivity," the report said.

Employees' preference

But even with stronger encouragement from employers to return to the office, employees say they want to maintain flexibility while working.

According to the report, they are already working an average of 3.1 days in the office, with strong preference to go to work on Tuesdays (54%), Wednesdays (49%), and Thursdays (49%).

Only 20% of employees remain fully remote or report two work for one or two days a week, much lower than the 39% recorded last year, according to the report.

Commuting time (59%) and cost (43%) are the biggest factors preventing employees from working in the office. Other reasons include:

  • Office timing conflicts (31%)
  • Noise levels (28%)
  • No flexibility in scheduling (24%)
  • No privacy for virtual calls (22%)
  • Food cost (22%)
  • Family responsibilities or commitments (18%)
  • No focused space (18%)

Arranging a successful hybrid setup

According to the report, employers with more successful hybrid work implementation know what drives performance in their organisation.

"They understand how physical space and employee expectations impact performance and productivity," the report said.

In implementing hybrid work, managers should also clarify with their employees when they are expected to be on-site.

"This is an opportunity for companies to define their approach to hybrid working and to adapt to each team's constraints and job functions alongside an individual's desire for flexibility," the report said.

Neil Murray, CEO, Work Dynamics for JLL, also underscored the importance of fostering dynamic spaces in implementing hybrid work.

"Ultimately, our research finds that the majority of global workers continue to crave a destination for human connection, so creating dynamic spaces that satisfy a mix of collaborative and focused work needs will ultimately be the most effective strategy to enticing employees to the office on a regular basis," Murray said in a statement.

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