Survey: 80% of Bosses Regret Initial Return to Office Mandates

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A significant majority of business leaders are reevaluating their return to office plans, with 80 percent expressing regret over their initial mandates, according to a recent survey.

CNBC reports that according to a recent study, a sizable majority of company leaders are rethinking their return to office intentions, with 80 percent expressing regret over their earlier choices. The research, which surveyed over 1,000 U.S. company executives and workplace managers, revealed that many bosses would have approached their plans differently if they had a better understanding of employees’ office attendance, usage of office amenities, and other related factors.

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The study found that many companies made hasty decisions based on executive opinions rather than employee data. This has led to a phase of remorse among business leaders, as they realize they could have been more measured in their approach. Some leaders have found it challenging to measure the success of in-office policies, while others have struggled to make long-term real estate investments without knowing how employees might feel about being in the office in the future.

Kathy Kacher, a consultant who advises corporate executives on their return-to-office plans, noted that many organizations that attempted to force a return to the office have had to retract or change their plans due to employee pushback. “A lot of executives have egg on their faces and they’re sad about that,” Kacher said.

The study also revealed a shift in attitudes towards hybrid work. While some business leaders are accepting hybrid work as a permanent reality, others are backtracking on earlier pledges to let employees work from home on a full or part-time basis. As of July, 59 percent of full-time employees are back to being 100 percent on-site, while 29 percent are in a hybrid arrangement and 12 percent are completely remote.

Companies that have mandated a strict return to the office without first seeking employee input are experiencing the most angst, struggling with retention and recruitment. “They’re the ones struggling with retention and recruitment,” Kacher added. “Some of the companies I work with have even scaled back the number of in-office days they’re requiring in response to employee backlash.”

The companies that are seeing the most success with returning to the office appear to be the ones that are making decisions with their employees, rather than for them. For example, global accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) listened to employee concerns about pet care and child care and announced a fund to reimburse commuting, pet care, and dependent care costs. Since EY first rolled out this benefit, the firm has seen a 150 percent uptick in office attendance across the U.S.

Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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