Lack of investment to drive hybrid working threatens success of back-to-office

According to an Opinium study for Ricoh, lack of planning and investment in hybrid work threatens to hamper the success of the widespread return to the office. Furthermore, it indicates that many remain wary of returning to the office full-time, highlighting the importance of flexible hybrid working for organisations.

Only one in five (18%) say that their company has adopted a hybrid work policy. At the same time, inadequate technology and collaborative work environments are holding back the adoption of more flexible and agile ways of working. Less than half (48%) have seen an increase in the presence of collaboration technology in meeting rooms to encourage hybrid working, while almost one in four (23%) say that collaboration spaces in your office have shrunk.

This could cause significant friction among employees who want to return to the office and discourage them from working in person on a regular basis. If this problem is not resolvedworkplace productivity could decline as more talented workers seek more flexible jobs.

At a time when demand for talent is at an all-time high, two in five employees feel pressure from their company to return to the office, a 31% increase from a similar study conducted in 2020. The majority of Spanish employees surveyed (64%) believes that the choice to return to the office in 2022 is a personal onereinforcing the need for senior management to balance employee preferences with company needs when designing hybrid work policies.

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Ramon MartinCEO of Ricoh Spain and Portugal, states: «Offering the right collaboration tools for everyone to have a positive work experience, no matter where they are, is critical for employees as restrictions ease. Technology makes it possible to equate the experience of employees who work in person and those who telecommute.”

Importantly, trust between companies and their workers has improved during the pandemic. 69% of employees think that companies are more confident in their ability to feel motivated and be productive when telecommuting, which is an increase of 19% compared to a similar study carried out in 2021.

Martin adds: «After two years of intermittent restrictions, the world of work continues to undergo change. Employees rightly expect their companies to lead this change at work. The study shows that companies have come a long way in building the trust of your staff. Creating a work environment where hybrid work really exists is the next critical step in the process. Although there are many advantages of people working face-to-face in the same room, hybrid work is here to stay. Investing now in hybrid and mixed forms is an investment in the future, as it will improve productivity and help retain talent.”

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