The Companies Backtracking on Flexible Work | BBC Worklife

Workforce Trends

Many organizations continue to offer flexible, remote, and hybrid work arrangements. However, a segment of firms that have embraced remote and hybrid work is increasing the number of mandatory days employees need to be in the office. For example, Disney announced it is requiring employees to come back into the office four days a week starting on March 1, targeting Monday through Thursday as in-person workdays—a decision prompting thousands of employees to sign a petition urging CEO Bob Iger to reverse this requirement. AmazonStarbucks, and Activision Blizzard are among the other employers recently announcing plans to have workers return to their corporate offices more frequently in 2023. This BBC article notes that as economic uncertainty looms, and companies axe jobs on a wide scale, the power dynamic is swinging back towards employers: many may be using the downturn as an opportunity to enforce or overhaul their working practices. While organizations reserve the right to require workers to return to the office for a set number of days, these decisions come with unforeseen risks when not critically evaluated and thought through. With this as the backdrop, I am resharing a bonus article by Gartner, How Should We Collaborate in a Hybrid World? One idea offered is to structure in-office requirements around the work the team is doing rather than requiring a minimum number of days per week (e.g., if a team is working on a project with five phases over six months, they will meet in person during a few critical checkpoints of the project lifecycle).