The real question you should be asking yourself about lifting restrictions and the return to the workplace

The question of whether employers should ask staff to return to the workplace has dominated business coverage over the last month. The true question business leaders must ask is not ‘what can you do?’ as we transition back to pre-pandemic activities, but rather ‘what do staff actually want?’.

Here are the facts

In this time of lockdown we’ve learned that remote work works, as the majority of businesses reported higher than normal productivity throughout. At the same time, many people gained a newfound appreciation of their wellbeing and personal/family life. One survey found that the pandemic helped 3 in 5 parents realise they weren’t spending enough time with their children. And the overwhelming majority of parents, 7 out of 10 parents, plan to change their working life post-lockdown. Another survey of more than 30,000 global workers discovered that 41% of workers were considering quitting or changing professions this year.

What does the future hold?

Just as Microsoft Teams and Zoom became ubiquitous during the pandemic, a more robust set of hybrid-friendly employee perks are needed to attract and retain top talent. In the ‘Great Return’, there is no going back to what was ‘normal’. 

HR teams must ask themselves and most importantly their staff:

  • What does work-life balance look like in a hybrid workplace? 
  • What support infrastructure is needed to ensure every employee can achieve balance?
  • Is it better access to childcare support or personal development coaching? Is it a shift in working policy?

While not every employee has children, we all have lives, families and obligations that employers mustn’t ignore. HR teams that figure out how to support employees with a more balanced work culture and more expansive support offering will excel at retaining employees, attracting top talent, and ultimately outperforming the market.

Click here to discover how your benefits package compares to the top requested perks being requested by remote and hybrid workers.