Monday: telecommuting. Tuesday: office. Wednesday: coworking. Such a schedule would have seemed inconceivable just a few years ago, but hybrid work has now become the norm. But its rise corresponds to a more worrying phenomenon for companies, that of the “Great Resignation”, i.e. a strong increase in resignations. How do you counter this phenomenon and re-engage employees?
A recent Gartner survey (2021) indicates that 39% of employees are likely to quit if their company insists on a “return to the office.” 55% of employees say that their ability to work flexibly will impact their decision on whether or not to stay with their employer. Among employees who currently work remotely or in a hybrid arrangement, 75% say their expectations for work flexibility have increased. Only 4% say they would prefer to work in the office full-time.
While all telecommuting makes most employers cringe, “remote” is an essential component of hybrid work practiced by many companies.
On a day-to-day basis, teams find themselves split up. A manager may only see his team a few days a week, and a new recruit will only meet his new colleagues very occasionally. A practice that necessarily impacts team spirit, the feeling of belonging to the company, but also the way of thinking about one’s career.
Hybrid work and resignation: out of sight, out of mind?
The Great Resignation is raging. This phenomenon began in the United States in the summer of 2020, when millions of Americans who were dissatisfied with their jobs or their pay quit. Today, the movement is affecting many countries, putting certain sectors in a bind. In France, all professions and markets seem to be impacted. The cause, in particular, is the loss of individual and collective meaning. This is precisely why companies must learn to combine hybrid work with a corporate project. The office must once again become the place where the organization’s culture is expressed, and a space for socialization. These two facets, corporate project and group life, are, more than ever, key elements in talent retention.
Companies must actively enable their employees to renew a strong relationship with them and with each other. Social interaction and the ability to put one’s individual contribution into the context of a corporate mission would allow employees to put meaning back into their work, and thereby influence their productivity. In fact, numerous research studies now show that the feeling of belonging to a community has a positive impact on the latter.
To give meaning back, companies must also give employees a voice. Whether it’s giving employees the flexibility to choose how to organize their work week, or even where they can work: you need to involve talent to get them on board – sustainably. It’s also a way to give substance to the company’s culture.
Make the office a unique (work) place
Moreover, most companies still have a key asset to retain their employees: their workspaces! No, the office is not dead. But it must reinvent itself. Studies show that it’s not the “fun bonuses” (juice bar, foosball, etc.) that make it valuable, but rather… serendipity, collaboration and informal social interactions.
For example, employees may miss impromptu exchanges, chance meetings, and impromptu brainstorming. Elements that are difficult to reproduce remotely…
To sum up, the Great Resignation is the strong signal of a quest for meaning and a questioning of the organization of work for a new project centered on the human. In the past, this human dimension was achieved by building relationships with colleagues on a daily basis in the office. Today, one of the challenges for companies is to revive this life. To make people want to go back to the office after months of isolation and disintegration of the common sense. A virtuous circle which, in order to work at full speed, must be implemented as soon as possible.