This Company Created a Return-to-Office Plan That Employees Actually Like


The Wall Street Journal article titled “Smucker’s Return-to-Office Plan: Working From Home Is Here to Stay” discusses J.M. Smucker Co.’s decision to implement a hybrid work model even after the pandemic is over. The article highlights the key takeaways that matter to HR leaders, including the company’s approach to remote work, employee preferences, and the challenges of maintaining company culture in a hybrid work environment.

Key Takeaways for HR Leaders:

1. Hybrid Work Model: J.M. Smucker Co. has decided to adopt a hybrid work model, allowing employees to work remotely for up to two days a week. This approach recognizes the benefits of both remote and in-person work and aims to provide flexibility to employees.

2. Employee Preferences: The company conducted surveys to understand employee preferences regarding remote work. The results showed that a majority of employees wanted the option to work remotely, indicating the importance of considering employee preferences when designing a return-to-office plan.

3. Maintaining Company Culture: One of the challenges of a hybrid work model is maintaining company culture. J.M. Smucker Co. plans to address this by organizing in-person team-building activities and ensuring that remote employees have access to the same opportunities for growth and development as those working in the office.

4. Collaboration and Communication: The company recognizes the importance of collaboration and communication in a hybrid work environment. To facilitate effective collaboration, J.M. Smucker Co. is investing in technology and tools that enable seamless communication and collaboration among remote and in-office employees.

5. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: The adoption of a hybrid work model reflects the company’s commitment to providing flexibility and promoting work-life balance. This approach can help attract and retain top talent by accommodating the diverse needs and preferences of employees.

6. Employee Well-being: J.M. Smucker Co. acknowledges the impact of the pandemic on employee well-being and mental health. The company plans to provide resources and support to help employees navigate the challenges associated with remote work and maintain their well-being.

7. Evolving Workforce: The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote work, and companies need to adapt to the changing needs and expectations of the workforce. HR leaders should consider implementing flexible work models that align with employee preferences to create a positive work environment.