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If Your Employees Are Working in the Office, You Should Be There Too

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If your business is 100 percent remote, with no one having to come in, that’s great. The boss and HR get to work from home as well.

But if you have employees who need to be in the office every day or whom you’ve asked to work in the office, you need to be there. 

It turns out that’s not how things are working out. A pulse survey from Future Forum found that it’s not the bosses who are commuting. They report:

  • Non-executive employees are nearly twice as likely as executives to be working from the office five days a week.
  • Non-executives’ work-life balance scores are now 40 percent worse than their bosses’, plummeting at five times the rate of executives’ over the past quarter.
  • Non-executives are also reporting more than twice the level of work-related stress and anxiety as executives.

If you want your employees to be in the office, you need to be there. Here’s why:

You don’t have a job without your employees

The conventional wisdom is that employees should thank their bosses for hiring them. While there is logic there–as the owners and founders take personal risks in opening a business–the reality is that your business is dead in the water without your employees.

You should never ask your employees to do something that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself, including coming into the office. 

If the boss and HR are out of the office, you are not supporting your employees

HR managers, especially in a small business, wear many hats, but the most important is to make the company more profitable by ensuring that employees receive proper treatment. If your HR manager sits at home while your employees are in the office, it’s a sign that the HR manager’s comfort is more important than the employees’ well-being.

Yes, your HR manager is also an employee, but an absentee HR manager isn’t doing the job correctly if the employees never see them.

If you believe your employees perform better in the office, why aren’t you there?

There are good reasons for being in the office, and not everyone works better from home. But what kind of message does it send to your employees if you say, “You work better from the office, but I don’t”?

Looking at the survey results, non-executive employees experience higher levels of stress. Could this arrangement be part of this?

Hybrid is fine, but only when it’s hybrid for everyone

If an employee wants to work full time in the office, that’s great! But if you and your HR person want to work some of the time from the office and sometimes from home, then everyone else needs that opportunity as well.

If your business has people who absolutely have to be onsite (manufacturing, retail, health care, et cetera), then the management team and the employee relations person in HR need to be onsite more often than not. You’re not supporting or leading your team from your home office.

You may think that you’ve worked hard to be the boss, and now you deserve this perk, but bosses earn more money precisely because their jobs are more challenging. Treat your employees as you want to be treated. If you want to work from home, they get to too. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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