Study: Cost and Productivity Keep Hybrid Workers at Home

A new study found that the cost of commuting and the low productivity in the office is keeping hybrid workers in their PJs.

Hybrid workers are finding the return to office problematic, as high costs and low productivity are making the fully remote days of the pandemic seem like a dream.

With return-to-office mandates hitting workplaces across the country, employees have been hesitant to give up their flexible schedules. In fact, many mandates have fallen flat, with companies like Amazon having to rescind and rework their policies on a number of occasions.

Now, a new study has found the main reason for the unwillingness to get back in the office, and the complaints are more than reasonable.

What Prevents People From Going Into the Office?

The study from Robin — titled Return to Office Report 2024 — surveyed 600 full-time employees at companies that offer flexible, hybrid working models.

One of the primary focuses of the survey was finding out what factors were making it less attractive or downright unpleasant to make the commute and sit down for work at your desk. As you can guess, cost was a big factor, but productivity was actually more important, with the majority of respondents noting that they felt less productive in the office.

Obstacles to Remote Work Graph

More specifically, employees noted that their equipment in the office was far inferior to that available at home. In fact, 76% of respondents said that they would be more productive at the office with the right equipment at their desk. Even wilder, 89% said they spend at least 20 minutes at the office tracking down the right equipment to do their job.

How to Get Employees in the Office

If it costs more and employees are less productive, getting them into the office shouldn’t be a huge priority. However, there are some steps you can take to make the office more attractive, and hopefully, more productive for your team in the long run.

In the survey, respondents noted that office perks like free lunches were at the top of the list, but there are lot of options that can lessen the financial burden and productivity drain of coming in the office.

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Come to the Office More Graph

Simply put, employees don’t want to be spending more money to come into the office. With inflation still wreaking havoc on the average household and wages remaining stagnant for the last few decades, it’s understandable that the low cost of working from home just makes more sense, unless you make the office worth the effort.

Is Hybrid Work Good for Business?

You may think that hybrid work is only a perk for employees, but the reality is that there are a lot of benefits for businesses as well. One study found that businesses can save up to $10,000 per part-time hybrid worker, keeping costs low on utilities and other expenses.

Getting rid of hybrid and remote work may seem like an option here, but your employees would almost certainly not appreciate it. In fact, studies have shown that the majority of employees would happily quit or at least start looking for a new job in the event of hybrid work options being removed.

Even worse, there are plenty of companies offering remote work positions that could entice your top talent away from you. Google, Apple, and Microsoft all have plenty of positions open that can help employees ditch the commute and embrace a more flexible work schedule.

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Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at
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