CEO Akhil Gupta of Sine.com, one of the biggest job application portals said, “Return to office will affect employee retention negatively, but not known to what extent”. Better work-life balance is an issue that is becoming more and more relevant, especially in light of the fact that burnout is now acknowledged as an
“occupational phenomena” that directly result from our crisis of workplace stress as a whole.
So, it is crucial and relevant to practice inclusive leadership and strike a balance between work and life. Progressive leaders are aware that they cannot continue to ignore the root causes of burnout, the associated retention problems, and lack of engagement, and that the people they supervise also require a more tranquil, effective, and healthy work environment which is flexible and doesn’t dismiss the employee’s background and needs leading to higher attrition and employee turnover.
When we talk about employee turnover, it speaks about the overall quantity of employees who depart a business over a specific time frame. Both employees who leave on their own accord and those who are dismissed or laid off are counted as part of involuntary turnover.
In today’s post-pandemic world, we have overcome the need to be in office and have established various means and ways to work in a more work from home and hybrid model which have worked effectively in providing more flexibility to individuals.
Offices in India and all over the world are opening up again making employees come back into the workspace. Although this may be a good way to bring about a change in scenery for employees, getting a chance to get out of the office, and being able to meet people face to face, it also comes with its challenges which cannot be ignored.
Firstly, due to the return to the office being implemented in workplaces, we are losing out on being more inclusive. Due to the extreme rise in work from home opportunities, people from varied backgrounds were able to establish an income for themselves. Be it women, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from smaller cities who were able to take care of their families and be able to earn a good income. While underrepresented talent has seen significant advances in their performance after being given more freedom, forcing employees to return on-site poses a risk to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Talent from these groups may leave the company if flexibility of this sort is not an option which can ultimately lead to an organization where there is a lack of diversity and inclusivity.
Here are some ways that human resources in collaboration with upper management can work towards making our workspaces more inclusive to people:
- Switching from a location-centric to a mixed human-centric approach- It is important to establish a vision for the future workplace that best supports the organization’s workers by determining its future workforce model.
- Determine the function or purpose of the on-site sites- The value that employees will receive from accessing these places must be articulated by HR leaders, who must go beyond articulating the expectations of employees in their on-site locations. Employees should be encouraged to contribute their value expectations and use cases for various workspaces.
- Delivering the on-site location’s value proposition requires collaboration with IT and real estate- Using an on-site facility to its full potential requires collaboration. Cross-functional cooperation will be essential to successfully provide the value proposition of the office and other on-site workplaces when firms reopen offices to a more hybrid workforce.
When a company and its employers pay attention to the employees it fosters a sense of trust, loyalty, and comfort if the complaints, discomfort, and harassment issues raised by employees aren’t heard and catered for it creates disgruntled and unhappy employees and pushes individuals to leave the workplace. Additionally, employees would prefer to continue working for a company that values safety, security, and equality.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) promote equality, fairness, and egalitarianism in the workplace. It helps to improve employee engagement, retention rates, and job satisfaction. Achieving DEI is critical for any company to create a positive employee experience and a diverse workplace.
Gartner_Inc. (n.d.). Insisting on a mandatory return on-site can cause critical talent risks. Gartner. Retrieved February 20, 2023, from
https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/returning-employees-to-an-office-consider-the-talent-risks Chapman, J. (2022, October 18). Post-pandemic employee turnover: Why it’s happening and what to do about it. Insperity. Retrieved February 20, 2023, from
Morrell, K. M., Loan‐Clarke, J., & Wilkinson, A. J. (2004). Organizational change and employee turnover. Personnel Review, 33(2), 161–173. doi:10.1108/00483480410518022
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About the Author:
Anjika is an Organisational Psychologist, who has majored in OB Psychology. She is working towards destigmatizing mental health in corporate spaces. She has been actively practising for the past two and a half years. She is well equipped to work with mental health issues like stress, depression, anxiety using person-centered approach. Her background in Family Counselling gives her the edge to deal with familial concerns as well as work-related issues.She is also an expressive arts therapy practitioner who studied from St Xaviers College, Mumbai. She use various creative art modalities like art, movement, music and drama therapy in her therapeutic process.