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            Why Motivation Wins Out In The Great Office Return

            19th October 2022

            A recent Microsoft report entitled “Empowering Your Workforce in Economic Uncertainty,” has found that there’s a distinct divide between management and worker perspectives.

            Whereas 87% of employees say they’re productive at work these days, 85% of leaders are less certain of that. The change to a hybrid work environment has made it challenging for managers to tell with confidence that people are being productive. Meanwhile workers have undergone significant changes about their work-life balance and their preferences in where they work, often taking them far away from their office.

            Returning to the Office

            The return to the office has been varied, once again, largely due to different perceptions between workers and managers.

            Microsoft’s study found that 84% of people would be motivated to come into work more frequently by the promise of being able to enhance connections with co-workers. But most bosses are trying to use corporate policies to arrange their return, rather than utilising those human connections.

            Ultimately, the workplace will be looking like the office we know from the pre-pandemic days, but with a lot more flexibility. Successful returns are ones where organisations are arranging times of the week where workers have the opportunity to be with each other and strongly urging everyone to be there at that time, while acknowledging the commuting and compromise for the team as a whole.

            A Mindset Change

            One of the other big findings of the report is that workers are revaluating their positions and are more likely to leave if they feel that their role is stagnating. For example 76% of the people surveyed said they would stay at their company longer if they had more learning and development opportunities. If they don’t feel senior management prioritises these, however, they’ll move on to other positions.

            Providing opportunities to learn, develop and innovate will increase workforce engagement and  employee retention. To bridge the divide between management and worker perspectives, employers need to utilise social capital to find a hybrid working environment that works for everyone and provide the necessary training for managers to do their jobs effectively in a remote environment.

            MD Comment

            Successfully achieving the transition from Covid hybrid / WFH arrangements to office based working is proving to be won by those organisations playing the long game. Organisations using HR policy to dictate a return to work are finding high levels of staff discontent and increased levels of staff resignations. Organisations who use motivational techniques and meaningful discussion with their teams are experiencing less resistance, greater uptake in return to office and fundamentally far fewer resignations. Is this a surprise? Well not really we already know that organisations who are deliberate with their communication, staff engagement and the WHY  generally have more convivial and productive cultures and the return to office is no different, so if like me you are culture and values driven its business as usual!

            Posted by Mike Gorshkov

            Managing Director at Linea Resourcing

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