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 (33 per cent) currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office full time.
What Workers Want
More than half of all employees surveyed (51 per cent) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement, where they can divide time between the office and another location. Professionals also expressed the following hesitations about working from home full time, underscoring the need for organizations to offer flexibility:
- Relationships with co-workers could suffer: 39 per cent
- Fewer career advancement opportunities due to a lack of visibility: 21 per cent
- Decreased productivity while at home: 16 per cent
In addition, 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
- Employer-paid commuting costs
- A personal, distraction-free workspace
- Relaxed dress code
- Employer-provided childcare
“After more than a year of uncertainty and pandemic-induced remote work, there is a growing desire among some business leaders to return to business as usual, including welcoming employees back to the office once it is considered safe,” said David King, Canadian senior district president of Robert Half. “However, companies should be prepared for a potential disconnect between their ideal work structures and that of their employees.”
“As we reimagine the future of work, now is the time for managers to engage in mindful discussions with their teams to determine what they most want and need,” added King. “Establishing a return-to-work plan that prioritizes employee health and well-being and fosters a strong corporate culture can help bolster retention and recruitment efforts.”
For tips on managing change as staff return to the office, visit the Robert Half Blog.
About the Research
The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from March 9-16, 2021. It includes responses from more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older at companies in Canada.
SOURCE Robert Half Canada