Credit: Freepik

Hybrid Working Attracts Far More Candidates, Yet Firms Remain Wedded To In-Office Staff Regimes

Since the new year began, a growing number of firms have begun to demand that more workers show up in-office. As a result, the hybrid model that became predominant in the Czech work environment after the pandemic is mostly settling into a 3:2 ratio in favour of the corporate office. However, some employers are considering a full return to the corporate office. In order to retain  employees who increasingly prefer the option of working from home, these employers need to address both the attractiveness of their offices and their relationships with their staff. 

According to research by Colliers, a provider of professional services in commercial real estate and investment management, the factors that strengthen feelings of belonging inside a company include, first and foremost, a strong relationship with the manager, a positive company culture, and the opportunity for employees to be actively involved in decision-making processes.

Hybrid work models that offer flexibility in terms of time and place are popular with Czech employees, as is clearly shown by reactions to job advertisements. Job offers that provide flexibility attract on average up to seven times as many applicants as offers without the possibility to work from home. 

“Employers who choose to return to full in-office work structures will therefore need to be able to offer something extra,” explained Jana Vlková, Director of Workplace Advisory and Office Agency at Colliers. “For example, in addition to an attractive working environment, they can also offer high-quality technological and ergonomic facilities, which in most cases they cannot provide to employees who work from home. In addition, a strong company culture will help to create a sense of belonging between the employee and the company. However, this is equally important for companies that maintain a hybrid working model.” 

What do employees appreciate?

According to a recent Colliers survey, a quality and supportive relationship with a supervisor plays a crucial role in building good employer-employee relationships, as stated by 63% of respondents. An employee who has an open, constructive relationship with a manager feels supported and contributes positively to the company environment, to which they then form a strong connection. 

For 56% of employees, the company’s culture, which includes things like the transparency of the company in its policies and decision-making, its value system, and the attractiveness of the offices, all play a decisive role. Being actively involved in decision-making and innovation is considered key by 52% of employees, and for 48% of respondents, recognition of their contributions is important. The latter increases feelings of appreciation and motivates better performance.

How to make offices more attractive?

For more than half of employees, the environment in which they work plays an important role. Employers who want their staff to come back to the office therefore need to try adopting new trends in creating attractive office spaces. Not only is emphasis on focused and creative work important, but also on an environment that encourages collaboration and team meetings. 

“In today’s offices, 30-40% of the space is allocated to individual workstations and 60-70% to team collaboration and relaxation,” said Vlková. “This is a mirror reversal of the pre-pandemic situation. Smaller meeting rooms for 2-6 people are important, which also serve to support virtual meetings. Companies can also easily adapt their spaces with mobile phone booths and meeting modules for up to six people in a previously densely occupied open space.” According to Vlková, the data suggests that the investment in transformation will pay off in the form of happy, engaged employees.

Occupancy still low going into 2024

Office occupancy levels have been slow to pick up after the pandemic, averaging only around 35%, according to recent surveys. “Perhaps this is why some employers, especially international companies, are taking a more intense approach to in-office presence, in which they have often invested heavily in recent years and thus adapted their office spaces to the latest trends,” said Vlková. She added that this year will be a turning point in this respect, showing whether the hybrid model has really taken root in the Czech Republic, to the extent that there is no going back to the traditional setup.

Hybrid Working Attracts Far More Candidates, Yet Firms Remain Wedded To In-Office Staff Regimes
Reader Rating0 Votes