Culture Canopy spoke to reworked for their article: Now isn't the time to abandon flexible working and offers further guidance to organizations to act with caution when rethinking their flexible working approach.
With an anticipated recession looming, many businesses are already downsizing their workforce, and some organizations are seeing an opportunity to force their people back to the physical work location - solving once and for all their hybrid headache.
This may work to some extent; but for the wrong reasons, and the benefits will be short lived. Leaders might be demanding their employees back into the office because they feel the power pendulum has swung back in their favor; but employees will ultimately choose to move on if they feel their flexibility is highly restricted.
Flexible working is here to stay, and if organizations want to retain top talent, they must cater to all the ways in which employees want to work; balancing their priorities and making decisions as to how they perform at their best. Being back in person does not automatically mean better connection, better performance or better output - and it certainly does not mean better inclusivity.
Organizations must look holistically at how, where and when their people perform at their best and most seamlessly; and build an agile culture which empowers their workforce to work in a way they can best deliver results. Empowering employees to make decisions around how they get their work done, will be more motivated to perform and succeed.
Organizations taking away the flexibility hybrid working has offered will only see short term gains. Once the market improves and organizations start to scale up once more, top talent will be on the move to somewhere they feel more trusted and empowered to make decisions on how they do their work best. And these organizations will once again have to revisit what their approach to hybrid work is to answer the demand of the workforce; all while losing time and talent.