Yet amidst concerns around remote working, employees are considered as productive when working from home
Ricoh Europe, London, 24 August 2021 – New research released today by Ricoh Europe reveals that just 35% of employers trust their staff fully while working remotely, with 39% suggesting their people don’t work as hard or effectively as in the office.
The research conducted by Opinion Matters for Ricoh Europe polled 1,500 decision makers across Europe. The findings come as many organisations consider their return-to-work policies and suggest that the pandemic has eroded confidence in a remote workforce.
The waning trust amongst employers suggests they want workers to return to the office full time when coronavirus restrictions ease across the continent, rather than allowing workers to choose some form of hybrid working. Yet despite their concerns and diminishing trust, just 19% of employers say that productivity decreased since they transitioned to remote working. In addition, 57% think investing in flexible working technology is essential to attracting and retaining talent.
It’s clear that for many employees a full-time return isn’t something they’re comfortable with, as 42% of decision makers say their teams are worried about returning to the office when restrictions ease due to concerns about health and safety. A failure to acknowledge these concerns could not only impact morale but risk losing good people.
David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe, says: “Having an office-based workforce is vitally important to the success of our business, as it is for most across the continent. The office will never go away – not least as the undisputed environment for optimal productivity, ideation, and developing relationships with colleagues. The challenge for business leaders is to remain mindful that remote and hybrid working are two different things. It stands to reason that less commuting, a greater sense of flexibility, and having the trust of your manager are significant contributing factors to a more empowered and inspired workforce. This puts the onus on leaders to make their hybrid work model as successful as possible.”
Nicola Downing, COO, Ricoh Europe, adds: “Whilst there are undoubtedly some tasks that gain from having everyone in the same room, it’s essential that employers recognise the evolving requirements of their talent pool. That means arming them with the tools that help increase collaboration, productivity, and enjoyment of work, regardless of whether they choose to be in the office part time or every day of the week. At Ricoh Europe, we have created a hybrid working policy where staff can opt to spend 50% of their time working from home and 50% of their time in the office. We’re proud to offer this as we support work-life balance and understand its importance to both existing and prospective employees in search of modern and flexible working.”
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