Rishi Sunak has made the news recently with his assertion that workers not allowed to return to the office may “vote with their feet” and quit.
In an interview with the Telegraph he suggested that working from home is an inferior option to meeting colleagues in the workplace. A bricks and mortar workplace facilitates ‘meetings that happen by chance’ and ‘people riffing off each other.’
Young people especially would benefit from a physical workplace, Sunak commented, adding: “You can’t beat the spontaneity, the team building, the culture that you create in a firm or an organisation from people actually spending physical time together.”
Survey Suggests 1 in 3 Workers Plan to Quit
In direct contrast to Sunak’s comment comes a survey from US employment agency Robert Half. The survey, concluding 1 in 3 workers plan to actually hand in their notice if sufficient flexibility isn’t offered, confirms the generational shift that’s underway towards remote working.
For many, the chance to work within a home environment has highlighted the benefits, especially regarding flexibility over working hours and the highly personalized workspaces that home offers.
‘Reopening doors will bring new obstacles for companies to navigate,’ said aul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half…’ Not all employees will be ready — or willing — to return to the workplace, so staying flexible and responsive to their needs will be critical.’
Hybrid Work is the Future
The most likely scenario for a post-COVID workplace is, of course, a hybrid home/office combination.
As businesses begin to reopen after a challenging year many are recalling staff to workplaces on different schedules and in staggered groups, others are giving employees the right to make their own decisions on where to work.
Robert Half’s survey confirms that most workers recognise that ditching the office entirely isn’t the ideal solution. Real human interaction, a structured workday out of the house, and the benefits of huddling and collaborating create a strong corporate team, not to mention great human friendships.