The push to get employees back in the office has backfired in a major way, with 80% of employers stating that they regret rushing the decision in a new study.
The return-to-office movement of 2023 has been a tumultuous one to say the least. From big tech firms to small startups, the decision to get rid of remote and flexible work policies has caused everything from strikes to walkouts at businesses like Apple and Amazon.
Employers are finally starting to get the picture, though, with a new study revealing that the majority of them aren't happy with their decisions.
Employers Regret Early Return-to-Office Decisions
According to a new study from Envoy, titled Without accurate data, the physical workplace won’t survive, 80% of executives would've approached their return-to-office strategy differently if they had access to better workplace data.
“Many companies are realizing they could have been a lot more measured in their approach, rather than making big, bold, very controversial decisions based on executives’ opinions rather than employee data.” – Larry Gadea, CEO and founder of Envoy
The study surveyed 1,000 US businesses and their executives, all of which have employees working at least one day per week in the office.
A lack of meaningful data backing up the return-to-office mandates has been a big problem for employers and employees alike. In fact, an Amazon executive admitted last week that their chaotic return-to-office mandate has backed by “no data either way,” which has fueled the substantial backlash from employees.
The Return-to-Office Backlash
With employees around the world begging for more flexible working accommodations and no data to back up the alternative, it's understandable that these decision makers regret their return-to-office decisions.
Honestly, after all the widely publicized backlash in response to return-to-office mandates across the business world, business owners and employers should be happy that regret is all they're feeling.
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Amazon employees staged a walkout earlier this year, Apple employees have formed a coalition to address hybrid work policies being removed, and other tech firms are having trouble attracting new recruits due to their new in-office mandates.
One study even found that a large majority of employees would start looking for new jobs if flexible accommodations ended, which means that these kinds of mandates are cutting into your ability to retain top talent.
Statistics About Remote and Hybrid Work
If you want to avoid regretting your decision to force your employees back into the office, your best bet is to actually utilize data-driven insights to make the right call. Fortunately, we've collected some work-from-home research that should help you decide whether a return to the office is the right call.
For starters, remote workers experienced a 22% performance boost when asked to work from home. Additionally, 47% of employers noted a productivity increase when switching to a more flexible work policy for employees.
If productivity isn't your primary focus (which would be ridiculous), remote work also saves businesses money. In fact, one study found that businesses can save $11,000 per remote employee per year.
Simply put, remote work and flexible accommodations are the new norm for businesses that want to compete in a meaningful way. And if you rush the decision without any data, there's a pretty good chance you're going to regret it.