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Daily attendance may be a challenge for employers

Daily attendance may be a challenge for employers

At least part of the time, many employers want their workers to return to work.

Some employees, whose work has largely been conducted remotely for the past two years, are asking why they need to return to in-person work. There is a high gas price. There is a rise in covid infections (again). Their productivity at home has been high, and when they go to work, few of their colleagues are present.

It was Ryan Luby, an associate partner at McKinsey & Company, who said employees want flexibility and choice about where, when, and how they work.

In a recent Pew survey, 61% of workers with offices outside of their homes said they do not attend their jobs.

Employers must explain why they need employees to commute into the office again after two years of working from home, whether it’s a hybrid model or requiring employees to come in five days a week.

There will be some scratching of heads for them if they get to the office and there is no one else there or no one for them to collaborate with when their only difference is that they are going to be homeless.” “If all they see at the office, there is nobody else there or no one to collaborate with,” said Vanessa Matsis-McCready, Engage PEO associate general counsel and director of human resources.


Employees can benefit from having a backup child or elderly care, Matsis-McCready said. It can also be helpful to offer smaller perks to encourage employees to remain with your company, such as podcast subscriptions, free meals in the office, in-person learning sessions, and social events.

Is there a crackdown by companies?

The Tesla CEO reportedly ordered his workers to work at least 40 hours a week or leave the company in one of the more extreme cases.

Despite this, many companies do not enforce mandates. Gartner distinguished vice president Brian Kropp says companies use badge swipes to ensure that employees follow protocol, but they’re encouraging workers to come in.

Most companies track whether you swiped your badge when you entered through the doors or not.

In most cases, he believes that companies should not crack down upon employees who aren’t putting in their required facetime yet.

In the current state of affairs, people who don’t show up as often as they should aren’t actively fired. “They’re more concerned with figuring out what the problem is.

It might not last long, though.

I think a year ago a company might have tried working with someone who didn’t want to be in the office, but now it’s more likely to be ‘Is that what we want for our business? Otherwise, they aren’t a fit,” said Matsis-McCready.

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Finding the right balance

Employees are looking for companies that will meet them halfway.

It was first announced in September that the fertility benefits management company Progyny would reopen its Manhattan office five days a week. After giving workers three months’ notice, the company tested the first two weeks to see if there was resistance.

Employees were given check-in meetings by executives and managers as soon as they returned to full-time work. Since closures were uncertain, workers were concerned about child care.

Cassandra Pratt, Progyny’s senior vice president of people, said, “Clearly, no one liked the five days.” The feedback we received confirmed our thinking.

After two weeks, the company decided to change its policy, making Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays working days.

Although some employees still wondered why they were returning after working remotely for two years, Pratt said they’d been doing well remotely.

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In that case, Pratt emphasized that our organization is truly one of the in-office cultures and that these informal interactions and face-to-face interactions are essential to our identity.” We’ve also seen a significant increase in collaboration. As a result of being in person, some concerns and tensions have also been de-escalated.”

There are some limitations to the types of roles that can be done fully remotely at the company. Directors and vice presidents in charge of teams in New York can’t work remotely full time, and executives must come into the office at least three days a week. As a result, a few managers had to be let go.

Pratt said, “a few people had relocated and their positions couldn’t be made remote due to their level and scope of work”.

As part of its preparations to reopen its offices last summer, Showpad surveyed its workers. Most employees don’t want to spend more than a few days at work each week in the office. A full-time work from home option would be desired by 13% of workers.

Despite workers’ clear preference for in-person time, some of the company’s leaders initially worried it would negatively affect the culture, said Kelli Koschmann, chief people officer.

According to Koschmann, preferences were at odds with business needs and impact.

Worker attendance is now decided on a team basis.

“At the leadership level, there was much discussion around how to achieve the impact that we want as a business, and how office work fits into that.”

Is it important if butts are on office chairs?

Considering the possibility of a correlation between employee performance and how many days they spend on the job, the digital workforce company Thoughtful Automation is assessing the impact of in-office policies.

It started as a fully remote company in early 2020. The company continued to grow, opening up an office in Chicago and eventually offering to pay the moving costs of workers who relocated.

Despite the company being based largely in Chicago, CEO Alex Zekoff complains that employees are not coming into the office as much as he wants.

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As a result, we put in place a policy at an all-hands meeting. Currently, coming in three days per week is considered acceptable, coming in two or fewer days is considered below expectations, and coming in four or five days a week is considered outstanding.

As Zekoff pointed out, this is still an experiment.

“Are people less productive if they come in two days?” he asked.

Zekoff said there have been some early signs of noncompliance even though there is no set in-person mandate.

Taking care of that is starting to become a necessity, he said. We’ve been talking more directly about understanding the problem.”

The office has seen some signs of improved collaboration and performance when employees come in more often, Zekoff said.

We noticed a team dynamic difference: one team didn’t come in as much as another; it felt like the other team wasn’t meeting its obligations.”

If Zekoff’s experiment does not prove the increased office time is effective, he said he is open to adopting new policies.

The policy must evolve.”

Worker attendance requirements could backfire

Before the pandemic, many corporate leaders thought that their employees would be less productive if they worked from home. Unfortunately, the pandemic proved to be the opposite in many cases.

Ben Wigert, director of research for Gallup’s workplace management division, noted that productivity [didn’t suffer] as many companies went fully remote.

A study conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis found that corporate profits steadily rose from 2020 to 2021. According to Wigert, BEA takes both revenue growth and cost management into account when computing the BEA metric, which reflects worker efficiency and productivity.

In addition, Gartner’s Human Resources Practice chief of research Brian Kropp said that managers gave remote employees a higher performance review score than in-office employees during the pandemic.

Employers still require employees to work three days a week. Why do they do this? Collaborative and innovative workplace cultures must be strengthened.

Experts agree that both goals are important, but forcing employees to work more hours than they would like won’t guarantee success and could even result in a turnover.

The state of play

The return to work is seen as a valuable experience by both corporate leaders and employees. Face-to-face interactions often help people gain a clearer picture of a situation and build more trust than virtual ones. Mentoring the young and new employees require being available in person.

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Meanwhile, workers are now more accepting of flexibility and remote work options. According to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, workers and leaders should ask when is that extra level of connection worth the commute, time, cost, and anxiety.

According to the latest survey by Jose Maria Barrer, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, and Jinhua Zhao of MIT Mobility Initiative, there is a disconnect between how often employees want to work remotely and how often their employers will allow it.

It shows a majority (56.1%) of organizations do not offer remote work, 10.3% offer one day, and 16.3% offer two days a week.

Nevertheless, 56.1% of employees prefer to work remotely for three or more days: 15.6% would prefer three; 9.3% would prefer four, and 31.2% would prefer to work remotely for five days.

A mandate that mandates too many days in the office may lead to employers losing more workers, according to workplace experts.

The research found that employees who are asked to work in-house full-time but would rather work remote or hybrid, for example, have less engagement, lower well-being, and a higher likelihood of leaving.

Should we mandate a minimum number of days?

There is an argument to be made that imposing strict working hours could lead to exhausted leaders running screaming from the office.

People and behaviors determine culture, not places, according to Lister. To cultivate an effective culture, companies should first be clear about what they want it to be.

To innovate, in-person work is crucial, as is time alone.

Even before the pandemic, Gensler Research Institute found that most innovative firms required employees to work about three days a week in the office.

A study conducted by researchers found that innovators who worked outside the office showed higher levels of job satisfaction, better management relationships, and more meaning in their work.

Janet Pogue McLaurin, global director of workplace research at Gensler, said the split should depend on the tasks at hand and how individuals and teams work best together. There may be a better way to think of it than to look at it by the days of the week [every week].

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Depending on the week, some team members may benefit from working remotely, while others may benefit from coming in part-time or coming in for a few days.

Organizational psychologist Craig Knight acknowledges that an arbitrary, top-down mandate may not be the best way to maximize well-being, engagement, and productivity.

Whenever we have found a solution, we have always referred to the experts performing the tasks. And that’s not the [leader],” Knight explained.

To achieve the company’s goals, employers must consult with their employees first, which might include working in the office for some time every week.

The parameters must be set, he said.

To achieve those commonly agreed-upon goals, let each team determine which schedule works best for them.

There is almost always a workable solution when you trust them.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma 



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