Flexible working methods
May 11, 2022 at 11:34 | Author: Detlev Kühne / Editor: Lukas Steiglechner | Comments)
The home office requirement in Germany is over. And now? Now the road to “New Normal” begins. Because the home office caused by the pandemic can not be compared to hybrid work concepts.
Many companies now expect employees to return to the office. It shows a study conducted by Civey and Cisco in Germany. According to this, a third of the respondents expect their employer to completely end the opportunities to work at home again.
The reasons for this are different. It is often a matter of convenience to continue the old processes and ways of working again. “After all, we’ve always done it this way,” and Corona is considered an unusual situation. This may be due to a lack of trust in employees. But the hope of a stronger team spirit, better identification with the company or more intensive exchanges can also speak in favor of Back to Office.
But according to the Cisco survey, only 16 percent of workers would like to return to work full-time in the office. More than three-quarters want to work from home for at least one day. The Germans see the main benefits of hybrid work: the opportunity to work for distant employers, to work at your own pace, to wear more comfortable clothes and to save money, for example on travel expenses or eating out.
Therefore, a commitment to 100% office participation could boomerang. In e.g. The United States, the so-called “Great Resignation” is already an important issue. Also in this country, more and more people are playing with the idea of quitting their jobs. According to the Civey and Cisco survey, 13 percent would quit their jobs and nine percent would become self-employed so they could work from home permanently.
Benefits of a hybrid working world
Employers should therefore think carefully about whether they really want to replace the home office requirement with an office requirement. In fact, many of the reservations from the “back to office faction” belong to the realm of myth: According to a survey conducted by Cisco and MIT Sloan Management Review Connections among 1,500 respondents worldwide, the results of hybrid work are unique. It therefore offers the following three benefits.
- Better corporate culture: More than 90 percent of respondents say that working from home has a positive effect on corporate culture. For 89 percent, diversity and inclusion have improved or remained the same. When it comes to team spirit, commitment or freedom of speech, less than ten percent believe that hybrid work has made one of these cultural factors worse. The younger respondents (born since 1995) are most likely to think that the cultural aspects have improved. The corporate culture does not suffer from people being in different places.
- Stronger self-confidence: 83 percent of the participants trust the leaders’ ability to strengthen the overall sense of belonging. Almost as many say their leaders encourage honest and open feedback and avoid language that may alienate some people. Conversely, 76 percent of managers believe that employees who work from home do a good job on time. That means: Remote control works.
- Higher satisfaction: More than two thirds of the respondents see the free choice of workplace as an important factor for employee commitment and well-being. 70 percent believe that the salary should be based on the local cost of living – and not solely on the employee’s role, regardless of the workplace. Only 22 percent believe it is important that home office expenses be reimbursed. And only 23 percent of remote workers want the same perks as office workers, such as babysitting, gym memberships or commuting.
Avoid sources of error
With hybrid work, however, there are a few sources of error to avoid. For example, video conferencing and messaging should be used effectively and not become goals in themselves. Leaders should model new behaviors, distribute tasks fairly, and foster a sense of belonging. In addition, a high level of technical safety must be ensured. If employees access the company’s network with mobile devices or from their home office, securing their own data center is no longer sufficient. Businesses must also ensure comprehensive security for cloud applications and end devices.
Is reservations about hybrid work a German phenomenon? No, because it’s all over the world. But everywhere the desire for hybrid work has come to stay. Companies that ignore this trend run the risk of employees resigning internally or even looking for a new job. But as the global Cisco MIT survey shows, with the right organization, hybrid work takes business and corporate culture to a new level.
Detlev Kühne is the director of Mittelstand and responsible for the strategic development of hybrid work activities for Cisco Germany
Cisco Systems GmbH