More companies are calling workers back to the office, but will they readily return? A new study by global staffing firm Robert Half shows that about one in three professionals (34%) currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office full time.
What Workers Want
Nearly half of all employees surveyed (49%) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement, where they can divide time between the office and another location. Even if given the opportunity to be fully remote, professionals expressed the following concerns in doing so:
- Relationships with coworkers could suffer: 28%
- Decreased productivity while at home: 26%
- Fewer career advancement opportunities due to a lack of visibility: 20%
At the same time, workers may not be ready to return to the office, and employers may want to consider what could help ease their transition back on-site. Professionals said the top ways their company can support them include:
- Freedom to set preferred office hours
- A personal, distraction-free workspace
- Employer-paid commuting costs
- Relaxed dress code
- Employer-provided childcare
“After a year of drastic change, many business leaders are eager to restore a sense of normalcy and welcome staff back to the office,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “But reopening doors will bring new obstacles for companies to navigate. Not all employees will be ready — or willing — to return to the workplace, so staying flexible and responsive to their needs will be critical.”
McDonald added, “Regardless of timing, companies should take a measured and carefully planned office re-entry approach and keep employees’ health and safety top of mind. Leaders should also use the opportunity to solicit staff feedback to shape corporate culture for the future.”
For more tips on managing change as staff return to the office, visit the Robert Half blog.
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