Return to office: remote workers | The Globe and Mail


The article discusses the challenges and considerations that organizations and HR leaders must address when deciding whether to bring employees back to the office or continue with remote work arrangements. It highlights the importance of striking a balance between employee preferences and organizational needs, as well as the potential impact on employee engagement, productivity, and mental health.

Key Themes:

1. Employee Preferences:
– Many employees have expressed a desire to continue working remotely, citing benefits such as reduced commuting time, increased flexibility, and improved work-life balance.
– HR leaders should consider conducting surveys or engaging in conversations with employees to understand their preferences and concerns regarding returning to the office.

2. Organizational Needs:
– While remote work has proven to be successful for many organizations during the pandemic, some tasks or roles may require in-person collaboration, making a complete return to the office necessary.
– HR leaders should assess the specific needs of their organization and determine which roles or departments would benefit from being physically present in the office.

3. Employee Engagement and Productivity:
– Remote work has presented challenges in maintaining employee engagement and collaboration, as well as monitoring productivity.
– HR leaders should focus on implementing strategies to foster engagement and collaboration among remote workers, such as regular check-ins, virtual team-building activities, and the use of collaboration tools.

4. Mental Health Considerations:
– The pandemic has had a significant impact on employee mental health, with remote work exacerbating feelings of isolation and burnout for some individuals.
– HR leaders should prioritize mental health support and resources for both remote and in-office employees, including access to counseling services and promoting work-life balance.

5. Hybrid Work Arrangements:
– Many organizations are considering hybrid work models, where employees have the flexibility to work both remotely and in the office.
– HR leaders should develop clear policies and guidelines for hybrid work arrangements, addressing issues such as scheduling, communication, and performance evaluation.

6. Communication and Transparency:
– Effective communication and transparency are crucial in managing the transition back to the office or continuing remote work.
– HR leaders should provide regular updates and clear communication regarding the decision-making process, timelines, and safety protocols to alleviate employee concerns and maintain trust.

Overall, HR leaders must carefully consider the preferences and needs of their employees, while also aligning with organizational goals, to make informed decisions regarding the return to the office or continuation of remote work arrangements. Prioritizing employee engagement, productivity, mental health, and clear communication will be key in successfully navigating this transition.