Culture Leadership Operational

Back to the office

Back to the office!

A brilliant podcast to listen to on BBC Sounds:

The panel discussion was about businesses asking their employees to come back to the office full or part-time and referenced research from noted economist Nick Bloom, who has completed studies in the 18 months post-pandemic.

Nick’s research tells us employees that are working from home 100% of the time are not as effective or productive as those full time in the office.

Working 100% from home make it:

  • Harder to mentor
  • Harder to build culture
  • Harder to innovate
  • Slows down decision making
  • Inhibits career progression

However, back to the office full-time may not be the best option.

Research shows working a hybrid model of 3 days in the office nets out as the same productivity as 5 days in the office, with the benefits of improved recruitment and retention for those businesses; you become a more attractive employer.

Research also shows that employees value hybrid/home working as much as a 10% pay rise.

So, how do employers go about getting their team back in the office on a hybrid model?

Some things to think about:

Anchor days

Prescribe set days the team all come in.  There is nothing worse, than employees coming in to find no one else is in that day.


Make sure the activities on the anchor days are team/colleague based, such as face to face meetings, training, coaching, mentoring, reviews, etc.


Think about how a condensed office working week will actually work.  Do you have enough meeting rooms, desks, space, etc.?

Core Hours

Could the teams work core hours in the office? Some employers have adopted 10.00-16.00 as their core hours, which is when employees need to be at their desk/computer. This can help with reducing commuting time, cost and being squashed on the train/tube.


The best results have been achieved through a ‘carrot’ approach, rather that ‘stick’.  How can you make it fun to be in the office, encourage collaboration and socialising?

Above all else, key to a successful return to the office is engagement and clarity.

Employers should explain the reason why it is important for the business and the employee, that they return to the office – there may be various relevant reasons for different roles.

Make it clear what is expected: who, what, when, where and ensure that senior leadership are role modelling!

If you need help to get your team back into the office then Pink Fluff HR can help with:

  • Approach
  • Implementation
  • Legal Guidance

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