Call back to offices ‘a mistake’

The decision to return to the office after two years of remote work has eroded the trust employees had developed in employers.

And calling for a change in management style, former president of the Human Resource Management Association of Barbados, Shane Howell, said abandoning flexible hours was a mistake.

Howell, who was addressing a Barbados Employers’ Confederation (BEC) symposium on Wednesday at Sandals Royal, in Maxwell, Christ Church, indicated a 2022 State of Trust Survey conducted by his company showed 52 per cent of Barbadian workers did not trust their leaders.

“Technology made remote work a real option. What was impossible is now possible, what was deemed unattainable is now simply unwilling. Pre-COVID-19, persons wanted to have flexible working hours but companies said no. Then COVID-19 happened and literally within days it was now possible. Then COVID ‘left’ and there was a sudden quick reset where employers said ‘I’ll see you on Monday’.

“Employees said, ‘hold on. We’ve been doing this for two years so you’re not saying it is impossible, you’re saying you don’t want to do it.’ What that did was fracture trust,” he said. (CA)


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