Many happy returns? What Chief People Officers are thinking now

Sometimes it can feel lonely at the top and it’s good to know what your peers are thinking and doing, especially when there’s no playbook. Our NEW report Many Happy Returns? presents the five main themes that emerged from our conversations with Chief People Officers and HR Head Honchos over the summer.

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The HR professionals we spoke to about the challenges of remote working and the return to the office spanned many different sectors: accountancy, advertising, asset management, event management, insurance, law, manufacturing and market research.

“We’ve done a lot of work with line managers reminding them to contract with their teams on how they’re going to work with their people. Some managers have done a really good job of contracting with clients too. Some people have contracted that there are certain times when they won’t accept a Zoom call.” Chief People Officer, advertising

The five themes:

  1. THE NEW ‘MIXED ECONOMY’ – maintaining equality of opportunity for employees regardless of where they work.
  2. STRUCTURE AND CERTAINTY – acknowledging the need for security employees are craving, and that’s difficult for HR to provide.
  3. KEEPING UP APPEARANCES – helping employees feel comfortable with remote working.
  4. THE FUTURE OF FLEX – continuing to modernise attitudes around flex and capitalising on the gains made during lockdown.
  5. ALL TOGETHER NOW – healing the hurt of furlough and rekindling team connectedness to move forward with purpose.


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