Indeed, VP on back-to-office push: ‘You can’t put the genie back in the bottle’

Bonneau predicts that the world will eventually embrace a hybrid approach to work, as evidenced by Indeed’s restructuring in the wake of COVID-19. Prior to March 2020, the Austin, Texas-based company expected the vast majority of its employees to be in the office five days a week. Now, less than 1% of its total employee population complies with this rule. The rest of the company is eligible for full-time remote work or flexible hours.

A data-driven organization, says Bonneau, the leading global recruiting platform took this approach by asking employees about their interests, expectations and productivity, as well as measuring exit survey data and the ability to the company to recruit and retain talent.

“Hybrid seems like the middle ground,” says Bonneau. “I wonder about the impact of not giving employees this option. Ultimately, if we continue to be in a strong job seeker friendly market and despite some recent things we’ve seen in the tech space, that seems to be largely the case, then the younger generation has no not afraid to go with their feet and better integrate their work into their personal life.

If hybrid working is indeed the way of the future, HR leaders need to find a way to allay the fears of Gen Z and Millennials about what they’re missing out on working away from the office. After all, 57% of Gen Zers said they’re particularly concerned about a lack of knowledge about communication best practices. Meanwhile, 50% cited “learning jargon” as a top concern.

Younger employees may never have the experience of huddled around the water cooler, but it’s up to HR managers to foster that camaraderie, whether staff are in the office or at home. Bonneau insists that you need to plan for socialization that otherwise might have been accomplished by circumstances.

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