It’s not too early to assess how “Return to Office” policies are going. While some companies offer flexibility around working remotely, a large number are requiring their employees to come into the office – at least part of the time. Now over halfway into 2022, it’s becoming apparent how it has been going…And safe to say, Not Well.

According to a report by Quartz, only 49% of workers mandated to go into the office full-time are actually showing up all five days. Corporate leaders who struggle to enforce these new policies are testing strategies, like electronically tracking employees and threatening to fire those who don’t show up. Others have seen better results by reeling their 5-day mandate back to 2 or 3 days per week.

The “Return to Office Revolt” is especially prevalent among tech workers. The tech sector had the biggest surge in remote work during the pandemic and proved that they can be just as productive from home. And, because they are in high demand, these tech workers can find remote jobs if their company is not granting them flexibility.

Working out of the office, at least part of the time, does have its perks. There are undeniable advantages to in-person collaboration, bonding with co-workers, and cultural elements that you just can’t achieve virtually.

No matter which approach your company opts for, the only bad plan is no plan. If you don’t establish clear guidelines, people will enter a limbo where some report in while others do not, creating unequal access to opportunities like networking and promotions. The more companies shift their policies and delay their return dates, the less credibility they have with their employees. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but companies should do their best to develop a plan, listen to their employees, and give a reasonable timeline for when their new policies will be implemented. 

Read more about the “Return to Office Rebellion” in this edition of The Mid-Point.

Inside this issue

  • A Huge Number of Employees are Rebelling Against In-Office Mandates
  • Indeed VP on Return-to-Office: ‘You Can’t Put the Genie Back in the Bottle’
  • The Return to Office Revolt: It’s Bigger Than You Think
  • Should Your Employees Return To The Office? 15 Business Leaders Weigh In
  • Save the Date! OAW’s Next Virtual Recruitment Event

The glass might finally be half full for executives pushing workers back to the office, but the office is still half empty. While CEOs like Musk threaten to fire dissident employees, respondents to WFH Research’s poll said that the promises for consequence are empty. It’s likely because fully in-person models have become harder to justify. Productivity has gone up among workers with more flexible schedules, and hybrid employees report feeling the most bonded with their coworkers. More than half of employees working a hybrid model prefer it, per a Gallup poll from October 2021. Read More

Most Generation Z employees have never worked in an in-person office environment full time. And nearly all (92%) feel like they’re missing out on traditional workplace experiences, according to a recent Indeed study. Furthermore, 85% said they worry that they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to learning professional “soft skills,” such as communication, conflict resolution and project management. Despite these fears, the majority of both Gen Z and millennials refuse to work in an office full-time or at all. Read More

The standoff between professionals who worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and employers who want them back in the office is growing more intense. Employers in some of the nation’s biggest job markets are struggling to convince their workers to start commuting to the office again, even for a few days a week. The challenge is even greater for those professionals who moved away from big coastal cities with high costs and long commutes – and have no desire to return.  But how big of a deal is the return-to-office debate, really? When you look past the headlines and the cases involving big-name companies like Apple or Goldman Sachs, how many workers actually have a stake in the outcome? The answer might surprise you. Read More

For some, returning to a physical office in the “post-pandemic” world has seemed like the obvious choice. But others are realizing that having fully-remote teams or hybrid work models have helped cut in-office costs, improve work-life balance and increase productivity and satisfaction among employees. When making the decision to go back to working in-office, continuing to be fully remote or creating a hybrid situation, leaders have many things to consider and potential mistakes to avoid. To that end, 15 Forbes Business Council members shared their thoughts on a return to the office, and how to best navigate these decisions with employee input. Read More.

Robotics & Automotive Recruiting Event

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