The remote work study researchers believe that cultural norms also play a role in returning to work. Many American workers said they felt comfortable asking their managers for more flexibility, or even telling them they would quit without that flexibility.

When Laura Zimm, a public defender in Duluth, Minnesota, was called back to the office last year, she immediately contracted Covid. She worked from home during and after her illness and eventually decided with her manager that she would be away permanently, which Ms. Zimm preferred and which gave her manager more flexibility in providing office space.

At Microsoft, the return-to-office process often involved “team agreements,” in which managers meet with employees to discuss hybrid work preferences.

In parts of Europe, unions and other workers’ organizations have been involved in shaping return policies. In many German companies, for example, employee-elected committees negotiated the details of hybrid working with managers.

“We needed to find a solution that would work for all of our employees, whether it was in software development, finance, or manufacturing,” says Julia Bangerth, HR manager at Datev, a Nuremberg-based software company that allows each team to create their own expectations for returning to office.

And the decisions that individual employers make are not isolated. In regions of the world where remote or hybrid work has become the norm, employers with strict return-to-office policies are concerned about retaining talent, said Mark Ein, chairman of workplace security firm Kastle, which uses it to track office occupancy in the U.S has “Back to work barometer.”

“Business leaders as a group wanted people to come back in a much deeper way,” Mr Ein said. “It’s really the competitive pressures of the job market and some cultural norms that have prevented that.”

“The desire to get people back up the corporate ladder is almost universal,” he added. “It’s the ability to do that that varies from country to country.”

Source :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *