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Hybrid working: CSB Group's Elaine Dutton says "maintaining a social fibre" is paramount

As restrictions ease and working life returns to a state of normality (slightly), the ways of office life have evolved dramatically. Isabella Aslam speaks with Malta-based corporate service provider CSB Group's Head of Human Resources and Employment Advisory Services, Elaine Dutton, on the topic of remote working versus the new hybrid conditions since the strike of the pandemic.   “I feel it is important to know how to manage a remote workforce. I can understand the hesitation around the concept of remote working, but only if objectives and performance targets are not set beforehand,” Dutton, tells Gambling Insider.

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Touching on the many questions surrounding professional performance, or a potential lack thereof in the workplace, Dutton explains how conversation in the office is not a catalyst for inefficiency, but rather, productivity by means of requisite communication. 

“I would be hesitant to say that productivity declines when people are in the office, because it could be productivity that comes out in a different manner, for example somebody could initiate a great idea to improve the company that wouldn’t necessarily be voiced if they were at home," she says.

“There could be a slight truth in the fact that productivity might suffer a little bit, but in reality, that ‘office chit-chat’ is building relationships. That ‘office chit-chat’ is human communication. The reason why we push people to be in the office at least once a week is actually more about the relationships of employees with their colleagues, it’s not about the output or productivity, it's more about keeping these relationships and maintaining a social fibre between people to perpetuate that connection.” 

The company's employee base retention showcased a “drastic improvement,” which Dutton described as “phenomenal” compared to pre-Covid times. “We’ve had great feedback from our employees, we gave them an engagement survey back in May to ask them what they preferred in terms of working options. 

“We asked what has kept them employed at CSB Group in the last year. The responses were: the way you've cared for us, and the way you have made flexible and remote working options without asking any questions. This was really great to hear.” 

The full interview will be included in the November/December edition of Gambling Insider magazine, out in early November; you can read the September/October edition here.

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