Listen above or read an excerpt of the transcript beneath, which has been edited for clarity.
Allie Nawrat: There’s been a lot of discussion about whether or not hybrid working will last the long term – is it just a blip? Is it more like remote working in the pandemic now we’re transitioning? Eventually will we be back in the office five days a week and the study from Goodhire – 60% of 3500 managers in the USA, think that the full time office will happen. And to be honest, it shocked me.
Dan Richardson: Yeah, that’s bold, just straight off at the start.
AN: It is bold. I think also, what shocked me is 77% said they were prepared to penalize and punish employees who refuse to come back, including by loss of benefits, loss of pay, and firing them.
DR: It sounds bizarre, right now, just because we’re going through the Great Resignation – I know, everyone’s sick of hearing about it – but, if you’re saying I’m going to cut your wages unless you come into the office X amount of times, surely people are going to look elsewhere, at these remote-first places.
AN: Exactly, or at least where they can choose the days they want to come in or [that] they don’t have to come in five days a week – there’s a difference between choosing to come in five days a week and being forced to do it.
DR: I mean, including the firing you touched on there – that’s a pretty extreme reaction. So what are your thoughts on that? Do you think that’s something that’s actually viable…
AN: I don’t think so. I think as well, what’s really interesting from the study, is that managers are admitting that people are productive from home, that it’s good for business. So why are we forcing them back in? Is it all about control? And that’s what worries me. Why do you think you can only manage someone if you can see them? We’ve got a manager who doesn’t live in the same city as us. It doesn’t mean that he can’t manage us because he isn’t in the office with us the days that we’re in.
DR: Yeah, I think there’s a few interesting things to unpack here. And I think part of it is who’s questioned in the actual survey? So when we look at these managers, is it a sense that typically, they’re older than some of the younger staff? And they think the way I’ve always communicated is face to face, I prefer this. And therefore, my benefits maybe outweigh the greater number of people below me?
AN: I think there’s definitely a bit of a generational divide. And as you said, it’s just the way we did it before is the way it should always be done. But I think I was hopeful that COVID-19 was going to break that cycle. We’ve all proven we can work from home, at least as productively and if not more, I think I’m probably more productive from home – fewer distractions, fewer dogs distracting me in the office…
But I do find it interesting, as you said, in the Great Resignation – is this the time to rock the boat? I wouldn’t have thought so. And this study wasn’t suggesting it was five years in the future, they were suggesting that this is a trend by the end of the year, when, hopefully COVID-19 will be a distant memory. But even within that, that’s not a given…
For the full conversation – listen above…