SAP, the German software giant, has faced a backlash from its employees over its return-to-office policy, which requires them to work from the office at least two days a week. The policy, which was announced in July 2023, has sparked protests and petitions from the employees, who demand more flexibility and autonomy in choosing their work location.
SAP’s return-to-office policy: a hybrid model with minimum office presence
SAP’s return-to-office policy is part of its new work model, which aims to balance the benefits of remote and office work, and to foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and innovation. The policy applies to all SAP employees globally, except for those who have specific roles or circumstances that require them to work from the office or from home.
According to the policy, SAP employees are expected to work from the office at least two days a week, and to coordinate their office days with their team members and managers. The policy also allows employees to work from other locations, such as co-working spaces, cafes, or hotels, for up to four weeks a year, with prior approval from their managers.
SAP said that the policy was designed to give employees more flexibility and choice in their work location, and to enable them to collaborate and connect with their colleagues and customers more effectively. The company said that the policy was based on the feedback and preferences of its employees, and that it was aligned with its purpose and values.
SAP’s employee resistance: a sign of dissatisfaction and frustration
SAP’s return-to-office policy has met with strong resistance from its employees, who have expressed their dissatisfaction and frustration with the policy. The employees have launched protests and petitions, demanding more flexibility and autonomy in choosing their work location, and challenging the rationale and the implementation of the policy.
The main grievances of the employees are the lack of consultation and communication, the lack of trust and empowerment, the lack of consideration for individual needs and preferences, and the lack of evidence and data to support the policy.
The employees have argued that the policy was imposed on them without proper consultation and communication, and that it did not reflect their feedback and preferences. The employees have also claimed that the policy showed a lack of trust and empowerment, and that it undermined their productivity and performance. The employees have also complained that the policy did not take into account their individual needs and preferences, such as their health, family, and personal circumstances. The employees have also questioned the evidence and data that supported the policy, and asked for more transparency and accountability.
SAP’s response: a commitment to dialogue and review
SAP has responded to the employee resistance, by acknowledging their concerns and by committing to dialogue and review. The company has said that it respects and values its employees, and that it is open to feedback and suggestions. The company has also said that it is willing to dialogue and review the policy, and to make adjustments and improvements as needed.
The company has said that it is in the process of setting up a global task force, composed of representatives from different regions, functions, and levels, to collect and analyse the feedback and data from the employees, and to propose recommendations and solutions. The company has also said that it will conduct regular surveys and reviews, and that it will communicate the results and the actions to the employees.
The company has said that its return-to-office policy is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and that it is flexible and adaptable to the changing needs and preferences of its employees and customers. The company has said that its policy is a hybrid model, which offers the best of both worlds, and that it is a competitive advantage and a differentiator in the market.