As 53% of Brits return to the office, empathetic leadership will be key for a productive workforce

April 19, 2021
  • Almost a quarter (24%) of employers fail to explore flexible working options to help employees return to the office
  • More than a third (34%) of workers have seen their workplace’s headcount decrease and their workload increase in the last 12 months

Chris Biggs, Partner at consultancy and accounting disruptors, Theta Global Advisors, discusses the need for employers to respond proactively to employees as we return to the office.

After a year in lockdown, the Office for National Statistics has revealed data showing that 53% of Brits are now back in the office. While businesses adapted to digital, and flexi-working, as restrictions have eased, employers have called employees back en masse. As Brits return in such large numbers, employers will be key in this transition back to the office, dictating how seamlessly this process will occur for their businesses culture and employees.

Landmark research by consultancy and accounting disruptors, Theta Global Advisors has shown that, in the last 12 months, 34% of employees have seen their place of work’s headcount decrease while their workload has increased. As such, employers must listen to the experiences of their employees over lockdown in order to identify the best way to move forward as restrictions ease to ensure employees are happy, and able to keep up with their new, increased workloads. 

Theta’s research further shows that a failure on the part of employers to listen to their employees and their differing resources, and experiences during Covid-19 will see significant negative impacts on productivity, mental health, and working cultures. Workers want to choose how and where to work going forward in order to be more productive, safeguard their mental health, and achieve a better work/life balance:

·         Over a third (34%) of UK workers have seen their workplace’s headcount decrease and their workload increase in the last 12 months

·         More than half (51%) workers feel that the decision makers in their place of work are out of touch with the process required to ensure their teams work efficiently and productively

·         24% of employees say that their employer hasn’t explored any flexible working options to help them and their colleagues return to work

·        57% of people do not want to go back to normal way of working in an office environment with normal office hours

(nationally representative research carried out across a body of 2100 respondents, in full compliance with British Polling Council guidelines)

Chris Biggs, Partner at Theta Global Advisors – a consultancy and accounting disruptor – comments on how employers need to be responsive to their employees post-pandemic in order to maintain increased productivity:

“Many employees have seen their workloads increase in the last year as their workplace’s headcount decrease, so adapting so they are happy and able to keep up with this will be essential for our working cultures and productivity going forward.

To ensure people are at their happiest and most productive, employers must be responsive to their employees needs for where, when, and how they work. Freedom from the office must also mean freedom to go to the office to account for different experiences, priorities, and conditions. 

In our adaptation to working digitally, we have shown that we can work remotely, but this has also highlighted the employers that can effectively engage empathetic leadership skills, really taking intoaccount employee experiences during this difficult time. Thus, employers have had highlighted to them, the importance of open communication with employees to maintain positive working cultures, facilitating happy employees and productivity needed to sustain a successful business”.

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