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Human Resources

The return-to-office debate: Where are we in the pendulum’s swing?

Health Industry Hub | May 24, 2024 |

People & Culture: The evolution of hybrid and flexible workplaces has yielded mixed results across the healthcare sector, with some companies pushing for return-to-office policies.

New research by Great Place To Work has revealed that the location of work is less important than whether employees are mandated to work onsite, hybrid, or remotely. Workers with such mandates are less likely to want to stay with their company, have good relationships with their managers, or give extra effort.

Coinciding with International HR Day this week, vodcasts featuring Karen Newell, Senior HR Director ANZ at Medtronic, and Samantha Alkin, Director of Human Resources ANZ at Edwards Lifesciences, delved into this pertinent topic.

Remote work positively impacts wellbeing, with remote workers being 27% more likely to look forward to coming to work than their onsite counterparts, and 19% more likely to report a psychologically and emotionally healthy workplace.

Great Place To Work’s survey indicates that mandates – whether for returning to the office, remote work, or a hybrid format – pose risks for employee retention and productivity. Employees who can choose between remote, hybrid, and onsite work are three times more likely to want to stay at their company. If their team sets the policy, they are twice as likely to stay.

The risk of ‘quit and stay’ – where employees become disengaged – also increases with mandates. When individuals can choose their work format, they are 14 times less likely to disengage.

Mandates also strain relationships with managers. Employees with mandated work arrangements are less likely to feel understood by their managers or believe that management cares about them. They are also less likely to say their manager fosters a healthy work environment.

Great Place To Work emphasises the high value of listening to employees through surveys and feedback programs. Central to the return-to-office debate is employees’ desire to have a voice in the policies that affect them.

Companies that provide a better employee experience see significant business benefits, including higher productivity and stronger stock market returns.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the ONLY one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

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