Majority of companies want employees back in the office more often
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Majority of companies want employees back in the office more often

Credit: Belga

Just over six in ten companies (60.9%) choose to have their staff return to the office at least three days a week since the recommendation to work from home disappeared in Flanders and Wallonia.

One in ten company directors requires a total presence at the workplace, according to a survey of 280 companies conducted by the human resources service provider Acerta in collaboration with the KU Leuven and the magazine #ZigZagHR.

Since 1 September, the government’s recommendation to work from home has ended, except in the Brussels-Capital Region, but that does not mean that workers should and will once again spend the majority of their working hours in the office, according to the survey.

Nine in ten companies (89.8%) intend to introduce a hybrid form of working: a mixture of teleworking and office working.

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Among those companies that opt for hybrid working, six in ten (60.9%) ask their staff to work primarily on the company’s premises, with teleworking as an alternative. In this case, workers will spend at least three days in the office.

Just under 30% of employers (28.9%) take the opposite view of hybrid working, meaning that people work primarily from home and sometimes visit the office.

The fact that 90% of employers opt for hybrid working also means that 10% do not. Most of them – 9% – will ask their employees to come to the office throughout the working week. These are mostly small companies that stick to the traditional form of work, according to Acerta.

At the other end of the spectrum, just 1% of companies are 100% teleworking. In order to stimulate the bond between employer and employees, however, Acerta recommends combining telework with office work in a meaningful way.

“The main thing is to fill the days spent in the office with value-added activities that are better organised on the company’s premises, such as brainstorming, team meetings, individual interviews, etc,” said Kathelijne Verboomen, director of the Acerta Consult knowledge centre.

“It is also important to take care of the informal relationships that tend to disappear because of remote working,” she added.

“The fact that 90% of companies are opting for a hybrid form of working is a revolution. Two years ago, we were not at all at this point,” Verboomen said. “But the provisional realisation of hybrid working is still very cautious.”

“In reality, hybrid work is not confined to the workplace,” she added. “Not only do people no longer always work from the same place, but they also do not always work on the same project or task at the same time.”

The Brussels Times

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