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The HR news theme of the week is the return of onsite work

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

HR news this week has floated plenty of discussions regarding the return to onsite work, as many employers are mandating office returns.

The big problem with remote work

With hybrid and remote working, we’re enjoying flexibility at work that many have never experienced before. However, as reported by Bloomberg, there is a downside to all of this.


Bloomberg highlights that while just about every aspect of life has reverted back to how it was pre-pandemic, one thing still has much contention worldwide: the state of work.

Europe is reportedly divided, with the UK having one of the highest rates of remote work and France having one of the lowest. In the US, policymakers are leaving the decision up to the employers, essentially leaving them to fend for themselves. Meanwhile, workers in Asia are being asked to come back.

The big issue now is the economy, with Bloomberg claiming that vacant office spaces could erase $1.3 trillion worth of real estate in major cities globally by 2030. As previously reported by HR Leader, this could spell trouble for superannuation, affecting retirement savings.

Governments around the world are reportedly rolling out mandates to combat these effects.

How to get people back to work

With this in mind, some employers may be wondering how best to get their workforce back to onsite working. Management Today provided three tips for enacting a return-to-office mandate without annoying employees.

  1. Be transparent in decision making
  2. Make the business case
  3. Think flexibly

It is very much still a candidate’s market, so caution should be taken, and mandates should be fair. Otherwise, employers run the risk of losing skilled workers that are hard to replace.

The young push for unionisation

As discussed by BBC Worklife, Gen Z is leading the pro-union charge in the workforce.

According to the article, in the US in 1983, 20 per cent of the workforce belonged to a union. That number has dropped by half as of 2022. Experts believe this is due to policy changes and an increase in right-to-work laws.

However, as of 2022, support for unions has seen its highest numbers since the 1960s, with 71 per cent of Americans approving labour unions. Leading this charge in support is Gen Z, who has been described as “the most pro-union generation alive today”.

Widely publicised strikes have been evidence of this, such as Amazon, Starbucks, universities, and most recently, the Writer’s Guild of America and actors’ union SAG-AFTRA.

This sudden boom in popularity of unions is due to a few reasons, mainly the idea that younger generations are taught they’ll be better off than their parents and that Gen Z is described as the most collective generation.


Hybrid working

In a hybrid work environment, individuals are allowed to work from a different location occasionally but are still required to come into the office at least once a week. With the phrase "hybrid workplace," which denotes an office that may accommodate interactions between in-person and remote workers, "hybrid work" can also refer to a physical location.

Remote working

Professionals can use remote work as a working method to do business away from a regular office setting. It is predicated on the idea that work need not be carried out in a certain location to be successful.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.