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A Surprising Number of Companies Are Pushing For a Full Return to the Office



A Surprising Number of Companies Are Pushing For a Full Return to the Office

By Les Shaver | August 19, 2021 at 07:19 AM via GlobeSt.com

Despite all the talk of hybrid work, at least one study shows that companies are pushing for a total return to the office.

In a survey of more than 2,800 senior managers in the US from Robert Half, 71% of respondents said they would require their teams to be on-site, full time once COVID-19- related restrictions completely lift. Fewer companies (16%) will allow employees to follow a hybrid schedule to divide time between the office and another location. Only 12% will give staff the complete freedom to choose where they work.

However, if employers mandate a return to the office, they could face a backlash. Almost half of employees (49%) prefer a hybrid arrangement. In addition, 34% of people currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office five days a week. Forty-three percent of workers feel more productive when working remotely versus in the office.

“When it comes to hybrid work, there’s a disconnect between what managers prefer and what employees expect,” Robert Half, senior executive director Paul McDonald, said in a prepared statement. “But in this talent-driven market, especially, companies need to prioritize their people and look to the future. Providing flexibility is a low-cost way to create a positive employee experience and inclusive workplace culture.”

While the Robert Half survey shows that most managers prefer to have employees in the office, those views vary by city, practice area, and company size. Managers in Boston (45%), San Francisco (38%) and Philadelphia (37%) are most likely to favor flexibility. Marketing (30%) and finance (28%) departments most favor flexibility. In addition, large organizations with 1,000 or more employees (30%) are most likely to allow flexible work structures, according to Robert Half.

Among the challenges cited against having hybrid teams were communicating effectively with team members (22%), trusting employees to get work done (20%), gauging workloads and helping staff avoid burnout (20%), effectively recognizing and rewarding employee accomplishments (20%) and finding time for team development (19%).

While there may be questions about hybrid work, companies are gearing up for more hybrid situations. For instance, an increasing number of companies are launching pilot hybrid work programs to suss out best practices before overhauling their commercial real estate portfolios, according to a new study from JLL.One unnamed JLL client will begin a pilot later this year called “Retail Flex” that will allow employees to work some weeks at a retail store location and other weeks remotely, where they’ll handle WFH-friendly tasks like online sales, customer service and technical support.

Full Article By Les Shaver: https://www.globest.com/2021/08/19/a-surprising-number-of-companies-are-pushing-for-a-full-return-to-the-office/