Study: 76% of Employees Plan to Quit If Flexible Work Ends

A new study has revealed some troubling statistics in regard to the return-to-office mandates hitting the business world.

Thinking about having your employees come back to the office full time? Think again, because a new study found that most employees are still willing to quit on the spot if their company gets rid of flexible work policies.

The return-to-office movement has taken the business world by storm recently, with a number of high-profile companies making aggressive pushes to get their employees back at their desks.

Now that it’s been a few months since the movement kicked off, researchers are starting to see the impacts of these RTO mandates, and let’s just say the businesses making the push aren’t doing too well.

Employees Want Flexible Work

A report from Greenhouse Candidate Experience found that 76% of employees would actively seek a new job if their current employer got rid of flexible work options.

“Leaders that haven’t been listening to candidates and employees in recent years will be forced to realize that work has undergone a massive shift, and they can either adapt to this new world or lose out on top talent, and ultimately, business success.” – Donald Knight, Chief People Officer at Greenhouse

Even worse, filling those positions will be infinitely harder moving forward, considering the study found that 42% of employees noted that they wouldn’t even apply to jobs that don’t fit their preferred work policy. And considering 52% said that they prefer either hybrid or full remote, forcing employees back into the office is not going to be a valuable recruiting tool.

The Return-to-Office Impact

There are a lot of statistics in favor of keeping your hybrid work model. Still, many businesses have been adamant that a return to the office will encourage collaboration and develop company culture in a way that will have a positive impact on their businesses. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t appear to be the case.

A study from Unispace found that 42% of businesses with return-to-office mandates are having a harder time with employee retention than expected. On top of that, one third of such businesses are struggling to recruit top talent.

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So, why are employees unhappy? Well, according to a study from the Federal Reserve, getting rid of your hybrid work policy is creates resentment akin to a 2% to 3% pay decrease.

Choice Instead of Mandates

There was some promising news from these reports in regard to getting employees back in the office, and it focuses on avoiding actual mandates and giving employees the choice to return to the office.

The study from Unispace found that employees were notably happier, more motivated, and more excited about returning to the office when given the option over being forced back into the office.

All in all, these studies show that it’s fairly obvious what your strategy for retaining employees and recruiting top talent should be in regard to flexible work: Treat your team like adults that can make their own decisions.

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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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