A growing number of companies, including some of the largest companies in the US, are pivoting from the shift to remote work and implementing return-to-office mandates. For employees who have been working remotely since 2020 as a result of the pandemic, being required to return to the office after an extended period of time has caused some significant dissatisfaction; therefore, employers considering going back to the office must carefully consider the advantages and potential drawbacks to make a deliberate decision that fits their needs.
Learn more about the impact of the return to working in the office with this analysis of labor demand, compensation changes, and employer benefits:
With a job market that has generally been favorable overall to workers, employers who want to require a return to working in the office have to be cognizant of the effect it could have on recruitment and retention efforts. If you are concerned about talent acquisition and turnover, solicit feedback to determine how strongly workers feel about work arrangements and how it would influence their satisfaction. Clarify your overall work arrangement policies (i.e., in-office only or hybrid and any specific details), so you are able to establish expectations with both existing and new employees.
Making the transition back to the office will come at a price, so be aware so you can budget accordingly. In addition to office space, utilities, and equipment costs, the most major expense to consider is the necessary compensation changes for your employees. For current employees, returning to in-person work will affect their discretionary income since they will now be spending on commuting. If you want to retain top talent and maintain high levels of engagement and morale, ensure you compensate for the change in workplace requirements. Offer monetary incentives as much as possible; however, if you are limited by budget, provide as much flexibility as you can for workers, particularly in terms of scheduling, additional paid time off, or any other valuable perks you can.
There are significant advantages to having an in-office workplace that, depending on your specific industry, working model, and customer base you serve, you may find outweighs the risk of upsetting or losing employees who want to continue remote only. A key benefit for employers with being back in the office is more streamlined, effective collaboration since, with remote work, it can take longer to facilitate teamwork on group projects or idea generation since everyone is in separate locations. Being in the physical workplace also is beneficial for cultivating a positive culture where people feel connected, as this generally occurs in an organic manner through spontaneous, face-to-face interactions.
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