The joy of zero commutes for staff who enjoy permanently working from home will likely change in the coming years. KPMG’s recent report indicates that 64% of CEOs internationally foresee their employees returning to the office full-time.
CEOs are being careful in how they implement this undesirable change by incentivising employees’ return. The most standard approaches have been incorporating either leisure areas, free food, travel compensation, and adjusting salaries.
While there are pros and cons in returning to the office, we’re here to discuss the legalities behind the commonly asked question of employees. Can my employer legally ask me to return to the office full-time?
Employee Rights on Workplace Flexibility
Workers can raise the fact that they are able to be more productive, reduce children-related stress, and mitigate lengthy commutes. A manager can easily still refuse to provide remote working conditions without consideration, however this changes under certain circumstances.
According to the National Employment Standards, employees who have been with the same company for at least 12 months can request a change in their working environment to accommodate a circumstance.
- Having a disability
- Becoming pregnant
- You are now a carer
- You are providing support to a family or household member experiencing domestic violence.
- You are 55 years of age or older
- Experiencing domestic violence
Are The Mandates Working?
How Can We Make It Work?
Whether it’s free snacks, gym facilities, laundry services or a breakout relaxation area, it’s time to get creative.
Is your office design sterile and remind employees of a hospital? Consider improving the workplace by adding greenery, open spaces, outdoor workspaces, better ventilation, and other nice touches to make people excited to come in.
Flexible workers dislike commutes, but it can be improved by offering incentives. Free parking, public transport subsidisation or even free Spotify subscriptions are a great start.
Arrange team lunches and activities that unite everyone. Creating a team culture of togetherness is crucial to making returning to the office desirable. Having a close-knit team who get along will encourage them to come to the office.
Providing professional development through mentorship programs or upskilling your employees is an invaluable method for bringing in staff to the office.
Returning to the office after a long hiatus doesn’t sound enticing, but it can work out perfectly if companies offer the right incentives. Both parties must be willing to work together and keep expectations realistic – stay patient.
Check out our 7 tips for returning to the office.