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MARKETANALYST.US / ECONOMY & WORK

Companies Are ‘Peacocking’ to Lure Employees Back to the Office; Will the Trend Work?

'Peacocking' means making the workplace so enticing that the employees are drawn towards working in such spaces.
PUBLISHED MAY 3, 2024
Cover Image Source: Employers are trying to lure their workforce back to the office (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Huseyn Kamaladdin
Cover Image Source: Employers are trying to lure their workforce back to the office (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by Huseyn Kamaladdin

Transitioning back to an office setup after the flexibility of remote work can be challenging for many employees. They have gotten used to the comfort of working in their own space i.e. bedrooms or co-working setups. People find it difficult to step into the office even if it's for a few days a week—they feel like it intrudes on their private space. Co-working spaces might not entice employees as much as they used to. Nowadays, companies are trying to incorporate various tools and techniques and keep up with the trends to make employees just come to the office. They have upturned the office setups into cool spaces with decoratives and leverage to snack and take breaks, but experts think that materialistic changes won't be enough to make people want to come back.

Making a shift from a wfh to office setup is impossible for some. Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva
Making a shift from WFH to office setup is impossible for some. Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva

Companies and employers are going to lengths by providing all the perks in the office to make the employees work in front of their eyes. Bryan Robinson recently published an article on Forbes based on Owl Labs’ 2023 State of Hybrid Work report that defines 'office peacocking' as the attempt to create a work environment employees are motivated to return to. Peacocking means making the workplace so enticing that the employees are drawn towards working in such spaces. This might include incorporating fancy decor, aesthetic furniture, and in-built kitchens with chef making snacks of their choice.



Robinson further quotes the Owl Labs CEO Frank Weishaupt's statement, saying, "Companies paying for commuting costs (38 percent) is at the top of the list, followed by greater privacy at the office [e.g., dedicated offices, more phone booths] (34 percent), and having a way to know when people they want to see will be in the office (33 percent)." He adds, "We also found that it might be a good time to kill the dress code as 1 in 4 employees (24 percent) said they would be enticed to go to the office if they were able to wear whatever they wanted." But the point to note here is that these things might not be what brings the employees back.

Many experts think freshers might feel pressured to adapt to working-from-office setups. Some employees might even think their presence in the office might impress their bosses, resulting in higher hikes and employment growth. On the other hand, office peacocking can backfire on the companies, too. For instance, employees may not be happy if a company only partially pays for commuting costs or moves to a less convenient location. If the office isn't set up well (has rackety phone booths or congested workstations, etc.), employees can end up demanding fully remote work again.



Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the companies invest in making real improvements and not just putting on a show. Companies must be more concerned about giving employees more privacy by redoing office spaces. Investment in soundproofing and providing lunch on office days to help offset commuting costs can be an impressive upgrade. Additionally, employees leaving their comfort zone are looking for some fair income with work appreciation but companies fail to give this perk. Hence, office peacocking can only benefit the companies if they genuinely aim at making the office a better place to work than it was before.

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