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BT declares war on WFH staff as it tells workers to come back to the office three times a week

BT declares war on WFH staff as it tells employees to come back to the office three times a week in a move that is ‘fundamental to the success of the company’ or they will face disciplinary action

  • Thousands of works have been told about BT’s new ‘work smart’ approach
  • Chief executive Philip Jansen said taking office is ‘fundamental’ for the company
  • Move comes after research found that 13 percent of employees went to work on Friday

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BT has declared war on its staff who still work from home and has said that if they don’t come to the office three times a week, they will face disciplinary action.

Thousands of employees have been told the company will adopt a ‘smart working’ approach in a move that is ‘fundamental to the company’s success’.

Chief executive Philip Jansen revealed plans to The register in which he says the days of the work week will now consist of “three together, two anywhere.”

In an email, Mr Jansen said: ‘We believe in being together. This means that most of our office colleagues meet at least three days a week on the shop floor or with customers.

Thousands of employees have been told the company will adopt a 'smart working' approach in a move that is 'fundamental to the company's success'

Thousands of employees have been told the company will adopt a ‘smart working’ approach in a move that is ‘fundamental to the company’s success’

Chief executive Philip Jansen unveiled plans in which he says workweek days will now consist of 'three together, two anywhere'

Chief executive Philip Jansen unveiled plans in which he says workweek days will now consist of 'three together, two anywhere'

Chief executive Philip Jansen unveiled plans in which he says workweek days will now consist of ‘three together, two anywhere’

Workers must return to the office to prevent arguments from getting out of hand, says real estate company boss

Christian Ulbrich

Christian Ulbrich

Christian Ulbrich

Workers must return to the office to prevent arguments from getting out of hand and staff relations from deteriorating, the boss of a top real estate company said.

Christian Ulbrich, chief executive of JLL, warned that conflicts were easier to resolve when staff were physically together — and that communicating pretty much required a lot more empathy.

At the World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Davos, Mr. Ulbrich told Bloomberg, “You get a better result if you sit in a room together.”

It’s much easier to upset people during video calls, he added.

“Another thing I’ve experienced is that conflicts between people are much easier to resolve when people sit in the office together,” he said.

While on a video call it’s easier to overlook that someone isn’t happy with the way you word things, or behave and in your facial expressions.

“There’s a much greater need when people work remotely to be really focused on empathizing with others.”

Mr Ulbrich also accused the employees of having “a bit of an attitude” when they don’t want to come back to the office.

“By working remotely, we have lost that deep connection that we only get from being together more often – with each other or with our clients -: the spontaneous conversations, the creative work and building deep human relationships that inspire amazing things for our customers.

“I know this won’t suit everyone’s individual preference, but the entire executive team believes this is fundamental to the success of our company.”

The move comes after a survey of 50,000 British office workers last month revealed that just 13 percent went to work on Fridays, while the average respondent spent just 1.5 days a week in the office.

At the end of August, it was announced that office availability in central London is at its highest level in more than 15 years.

There is currently nearly 31 million square feet of space vacant – the equivalent of about 60 Gherkins, the iconic 41-storey skyscraper in the City of London.

Two studies in China and the US found that 23 percent of on-site workers were promoted within 12 months, compared to just 10 percent of remote workers.

Facts published by the Office for National Statistics, it appears that about a third of people continue to work from home for part of their week.

Huge numbers of officials are reluctant to go back to their desks, leading to fears about productivity and the survival of city center businesses that depend on them.

While some employees find it easier to work from home part or all of the time, many managers are concerned that long-term flexible working could reduce productivity, hinder teamwork and affect employees’ social lives.

And the government fears increased working from home could hurt the economy as workers take fewer trips to shop and buy lunch and avoid office space.

Businesses must now decide what to do about letting staff work remotely, with city law firm Stephenson Harwood telling employees they can continue to work from home if they get a 20 percent pay cut.

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