Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Bosses being in the office discourages employees from coming in, study finds

Indeed, 30% of employees say they avoid coming to their company's premises when their boss is there, according to a survey by Beyond, with the help of the Opium polling institute

Published: Jan 12, 2024 03:04:00 PM IST
Updated: Jan 12, 2024 03:07:59 PM IST

Bosses being in the office discourages employees from coming in, study finds30% of employees say they avoid coming to their company premises when their boss is there, according to a survey. Image: Shutterstock

Tired of seeing their premises unoccupied, companies are increasingly insisting that workers come back to the office more often. But they might not realize that line managers are unwittingly contributing to the boom in remote working.

Indeed, 30% of employees say they avoid coming to their company's premises when their boss is there, according to a survey by Beyond,* reported by Business Insider. These same workers claim that they would be willing to come to the office more if their days on-site did not coincide with those of their superior.

These findings suggest that the boom in remote working may call for a rethinking of the managerial relationship. This type of hybrid working organization requires team leaders to let go of control. They can't stand over their employees to check that they're making good progress on their assignments, even if some have tried to do so by using monitoring tools.

Generally speaking, it is essential that managers focus more on empowerment and trust, and less on results, to improve quality of life at work. Employees will then feel free to work remotely or in the office, according to their wishes and needs.

Could better offices make the difference?

But it's not just the presence, or absence, of a hierarchical superior in the office that drives employees to work from home. Two-thirds of those surveyed by Beyond say that the rising cost of living is driving them to work from home to save money. The majority of those surveyed feel that they would visit their company's premises more often if the office was closer to home, or if it was more in line with their needs or expectations.

Also read: Solving the problem of remote work

After all, employees are increasingly demanding when it comes to their workspace. They want it to be tailored to their needs, and above all, to enable them to get on with their work in peace and quiet. Open-plan offices are notorious for being places associated with distractions and interruptions, which explains why some employees prefer to take refuge at home in the hope of being more productive.

Overall, 38% of workers say that would like their company's premises to be of a better standard, to inspire them to come and to stay for many hours. Could that be the key to getting people to come back to the office willingly?

*This survey was carried out online by Beyond, with the help of the Opium polling institute, among 1,262 British full-time and part-time employees. Data was collected between October 13 and 18, 2023.