Trust in WFH: ‘Treat people like adults and they’ll act like adults’

Working from home simply doesn’t work for everyone

Trust in WFH: ‘Treat people like adults and they’ll act like adults’

As we look ahead to the rest of the year, hybrid working is at the forefront of everyone’s mindsets. The move to remote work was wholly necessary when the pandemic took hold, allowing businesses to continue to be productive and profitable. But now, as lockdowns ease and vaccines roll out, should employers be looking to re-open our offices for good?

HRD spoke to Angela Champ, SVP HR at Alpine Building Maintenance, who revealed the split between remote work advocates and in-office promoters.

“Working from home simply doesn’t work for everyone, or for every business,” Champ told HRD. “Some people draw energy on being with other people - like myself, for instance. There’s some evidence that collaboration and innovation is easier when people can have face-to-face interactions like you might in hallway collisions or water cooler moments.

“Some people have too many distractions at home of unreliable Wi-Fi. The answer for employers it to provide people with a choice to work remotely, to work from the office, or do have a hybrid model. Treat people like adults and they will act like adults.”

Read more: How to create an inclusive workplace

Fostering this culture of respect and trust between employer and employee will be essential in 2021. While trust as a leadership trait is nothing new, it’s incredibly underused in today’s organizations. The pandemic has understandably left senior leadership teams worried, anxious that their people aren’t performing well in their remote set ups. However, if COVID taught us anything, it’s that our employees are resilient, adaptable, and incredibly loyal – if you treat them with respect.

Speaking to HRD earlier this year, Chris Mullen, executive director of The Workforce Institute at UKG, cited trust as the key skill leaders needed to hone. 

Read more: UKG among Forbes' Best Employers 2021

“What does trust mean in relation to overall success?” he posited. “In our recent report, we found that 64% of employees say that trust has a direct impact on their sense of belonging at work. Obviously, if people have no sense of belonging in their company then they’re likely to leave – the converse is also true. Trust has such a huge impact on the businesses bottom line. Furthermore, 58% of employees we surveyed said that a total lack of trust affects their career choices – with 24% of those people having left a company as a direct result.”

Do you have a culture of trust in your organization? Tell us in the comments.

Recent articles & video

What's holding staff back from vaccines?

HR for hire: Job openings on the rebound

How to help staff feel connected to the company

Lifting the curtains on the on-demand office

Most Read Articles

Returning to work? Companies reveal vaccine policies

Why Gen Z will change the way we work

Canada to allow vaccinated US travellers over border