It looks like a weird time for offices. It can seem like there is trouble ahead for physical office space because ofDevelopers backing out of office deals because of rising interest rates and office workers resistant to come back to in-person work full-time The demand for office space has recently gone up. Many companies are banking on a return to in-person work because they believe that showing up to the office is better for employee collaboration. New employees are one of the most overlooked parts of this collaboration.
When the COVID-19 epidemic took over, so did remote work. Businesses changed overnight as people hunkered down in their homes in hopes of a quick return to normal That didn’t happen. It was clear that remote work wasn’t a flash in the pan when the Covid-19 virus roared on. Many people realized that they could live anywhere they wanted because they no longer had to live within a certain distance from their offices. According to data from Upwork, almost 5 million people have moved away from the U.S. due to remote work since 2020. People are letting go of the idea of coming to the office altogether as the trend shows no signs of slowing down. 18.9 million Americans are planning to move as of last March.
The office did not die from the Pandemic despite the migration patterns and dramatic shift in the culture of work over the past two years. When it comes to their company’s culture, many businesses maintain that there is still a place for offices. Even though it might be tempting for companies to downsize their office real estate to match the lowered levels from hybrid schedules, or drop the office altogether if every employee can fully work from home, there is a pervasive belief that face-to-face contact has value.
In fact, a number of major companies that have integrated remote work into their business model have expanded their office holdings, including Meta (formerly Facebook), Microsoft, and Apple. Even though 70 percent of employers surveyed said they intend to allow their workers the flexibility of working from both home and the office, a recent report from CB Richard Ellis stated that officeOccupancy levels will continue to increase this year.
Many have gotten used to remote work, but there are some pitfalls. Sustaining workplace culture is the main issue regarding hybrid or remote work, according to more than a third of CEOs interviewed in a recent survey. Keeping productivity and collaboration up can be a challenge when everyone is virtual. Losing that sense of camaraderie has been difficult for some employees who were in the office before the outbreak. Sarah Lyall of The New York Times said that she had forgotten what it was like to be with her co-workers in real life.
There are negative effects of remote work on mentorship. The fortune of being brought into the company was brought into the office by personal interactions with employees. Employees who began their jobs after March 2020 did not. It is hard enough to maintain workplace culture, but it is even harder for new hires to navigate their new roles at a distance.
The first opportunity for companies to align new hires to their values is onboarding. Employees are introduced to their company’s vision, core values and what the company has to offer during the first few weeks of their employment. Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal of the consulting firm The Interchange Group, said that onboarding can make an impression that stays with new employees for the duration of their careers. When new employees decide to stay engaged, onboarding is a magic moment. According to a survey done by Careerbuilder and Silkroad Technology, employees who are onboarded feel more engaged and are less likely to leave the company.
When employees aren’t onboarded, employee attrition and productivity loss increase. It is a process to clearly define their day-to-day operations but it is also a process to jumpstart personal connections by introducing new employees to their coworkers. Chris Collins, an associate professor and director of graduate studies at Cornell University, said a role in a company is reduced to a list of tasks without personal connections. There is no loyalty to the company
When COVID-19 emptied office buildings all over the world, the onboarding process for most companies was affected. After filling out their paperwork, new employees will usually head to the company’s IT department to get any equipment they need. Once they are dressed up, it is time to start their work area.
A remote worker may be concerned about having the necessary tools on hand from the start, or worse, having to teach themselves their company programs because it had gone fully virtual. A study conducted by Paychex, an HR solutions provider, found that 67 percent of employees said in-person training was more successful than virtual training.
It will be another argument in favor of returning to the office now that companies are nudging their workers back to the office. An employee who understands the vision, mission, and processes that power the company’s ability to achieve its goals can become a more productive team member. Much of the operational knowledge in an organization lies with the veteran employees and so the more distance that is put between them and new hires the less of that knowledge will be transferred. The world is learning more about the value of a shared workspace and new hires are starting to show up at the top of that list.