S1E21: Return To Office: Why are we still talking over each other?

  • 4 Sep 2023

Could “return to office” save workplace toxicity?

Synopsis: Every first Monday of the month, the Work Talk podcast helps you work smarter, think deeper and get ahead in your work life.

There are elements of working hybrid that can easily lead to situations that become toxic. And that is one of the things that we want to recognise, so we can recognise when those are happening and cut them off,” says associate professor Mark Mortensen, of organisational behaviour at Insead university.

If you are reading this on the way to the office, or at your workplace, you may be one of those who wonder why you have been summoned back to the office.

About 79 per cent of Singapore workers are showing up on mandated days, more than the global average of 75 per cent, says a report by workplace strategy and design firm Unispace.

In this episode, ST's senior correspondent Krist Boo hosts Prof Mortensen, who cautions that long-term hybrid work could lead to workplace toxicity. Joining the podcast too, is Ms Yoshi Kakimoto, head of talent acquisition at Informa, and Mr Mark Ng, the social content lead at employment portal JobStreet. 

They round up hybrid work from the perspectives of business, HR and Gen Z, and also  question if the downsides of seeing too much of one’s colleagues might justify working from home.

Highlights (click/tap above):

5:29 Do companies offering hybrid work have an edge in hiring? 

8:25 Why doesn’t anyone talk about the downsides of Return To Office?

12:07 How could bosses resolve the discord over the number of remote days? 

14:21 Is an equilibrium in sight?

16:39 How do young people find mentorship in a hybrid world?     

Produced by: Krist Boo (kristb@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Teo Tong Kai and Hadyu Rahim

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai

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