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Editor’s Note: So Many Options

In my edit note from last August, I posed the question to return to the office or not. And guess what? Nine months later, organizations are still grabbling with this question. From COVID-19 variants to worker preferences, return-to-office plans have been delayed. There doesn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all answer. 

Some good news for organizations looking to reopen: New research from The Conference Board finds that more than 80% of workers are now comfortable returning to the workplace. This is an increase from the 71% reported by a January 2022 survey. Workers are seeking collaboration, culture, and relationships from the office—three things that remote work lacks. In fact, according to the survey:

  • 74% agree that returning to the physical workplace will enhance networking opportunities and build relationships.
  • 72% say it will increase collaboration.
  • 70% believe that it helps maintain culture.

But…industry research also continues to support worker desire for virtual options. FlexJobs’ 10th Annual Survey finds that 58% of respondents want to work remotely full-time. This does not make life easy for HR!

Many organizations are opting for a hybrid approach. In this issue, CHRO of Veritiv Dean Adelman shares the company’s return-to-office plan, “Flexible Workplace Program,” which allows employees work in the office two days a week on Mondays and Thursdays. Adelman says they selected specific days (instead of having variable days) in order to encourage in-person meetings and collaboration, while leaving Friday open for employees to end the week strong at home. He also explains this approach provides ample opportunity for team recognition and training with the entire workforce in the office twice a week. The hybrid approach features even more flexibility—like core office hours between 9 a.m and 3 p.m. Learn more strategies and early results in Flexing the Workplace.

And don’t miss this story How to Reduce Employee Frustration in Hybrid Work Models. Chief People Officer of NewRocket Laura Sue D’Annunzio details fives ways to eliminate the stress of remote work and get straight to the rewards for both organizations and employees alike.

Even if there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, we strive to provide you with many options in the hopes that one that may work for you!

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