Michael Gomes Vieira

Incentivising Workers Back into the Office

Many tech workers are very keen to continue WFH. While often managers would prefer workers to be in the office more often.

Many of the measures to manage the pandemic have been lifted and life, in a lot of aspects, is returning to pre-pandemic norms.

As such, employers are taking the opportunity to incentivise workers back into the office.

My own employer, Just Eat Takeaway, has stopped paying a WFH allowance to help pay for the increase in my energy bills from WFH; and, is piloting an opt-in scheme offering increased lunch subsidies that can only be used in the office.

My employer, a takeaway delivery company, already offers a small subsidy for 3 meals a week and to receive this more generous subsidy would involve giving up the standard subsidy for this more generous subsidy that can only be used in the office. This subsidy is interestingly unavailable on Thursday, when a lot of workers come into the office to take advantage of the open bar that Just Eat Takeaway host after 5pm.

With one poll finding that more than 40% of workers would resign if forced to return to the office and a very tight labour market it's not surprising that my company feels it does not have the power to coerce its workers into the office, and is instead trying to incentivise people back into the office.

This generous subsidy has been structured in such a way that it will be harder for colleagues who have opted-in to the subsidy to stay at home to work when they will be missing out on that day's very generiously subsidised meal. Fear Of Missing Out is powerful.

I expect that big companies will gradually start offering more little incentives or small penalties to induce workers back into the office. Both parties will be better off for it.