About one in three professionals (34%) currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office full time, according to a new study by the global staffing firm of Robert Half International.
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.
However, if given the opportunity to be fully remote, 28% of professionals expressed concerns about relationships with coworkers suffering, 26% citing decreased productivity while at home, and 20% noted fewer career advancement opportunities due to a lack of visibility.
At the same time, half pointed out that workers may not be ready to return to the office and suggested employers may want to consider what could help ease their transition back on-site.
Professionals said the best ways that their company can support them include:
- Freedom to set preferred office hours.
- A personal, distraction-free workspace.
- Employer-paid commuting costs.
- A 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 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.”