RETURN-TO-OFFICE CONFLICT

When discussing strategies to address conflicts arising from the return to office work, ‘workplace change specialist’ Dr. Brenda Jamnik, emphasises the importance of investing in happy and psychologically safe workplaces amid increasing conflict between workers and bosses over returning to the office.

While pressure mounts on workers to return to the office, Dr. Jamnik warns that success in this effort may be hollow without addressing psychological safety issues.

Dr. Jamnik identifies five key factors for ensuring worker happiness: being heard, trust, leadership that encourages learning from mistakes, fostering an adaptive environment, and promoting collaboration.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted perspectives on remote work, with varying views on its effectiveness compared to office work.

While remote work can benefit both employers and employees, fair establishment of remote work arrangements is crucial to their success.

Employers need to be aware there can be as many psychological implications from working form home as working in the office and should invest in creating psychologically safe cultures that prevent conflict.

Dr. Jamnik suggests measuring employee happiness through online surveys and addressing issues such as stress, workload, resource inadequacy, and harassment.

Source: OHS Alert, 10 April

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