A selective approach to welcoming staff back to the office may cause tension

Dr Helen Hughes comments on potential tensions arising from companies’ selective approach to welcoming staff back to the office.

The BBC Worklife article, ‘The simmering tension between remote and in-office workers’, suggests that companies are stoking resentment among workers and employers by welcoming some staff back to the office – but not everyone.

Dr Hughes comments:

If the decisions around who works from home and who has to go into the office are seemingly unfair, and that some employees have had a better deal, it has the potential to drive in-groups and out-groups in the workplace.

She adds that this creates the risk of cliques and the creation of a two-tier workforce with a majority of in-office employees and a minority of remote workers, potentially forming rifts between teams.

Dr Hughes is also featured in the Institute of Student Employers’ Student Development Survey 2022 sharing her insights into how early-career hires develop their skills during internships, and how Covid-19 has impacted work readiness and competency development for student hires.

We’ve all experienced the challenges of working remotely and the challenges of settling into new jobs. And when you think of students and graduates today, they have got that magnified by the fact that they’ve never worked before. They’ve got no benchmarks. And they don’t have loads of work experience to think about.

She is quoted on pages 28, 35 and 58 of the survey.