Employees said they would expect flexible hours, relaxed dress code and more if they are asked to return to work at the office.
After a year of people mostly working from home on account of the pandemic, many are not ready to return to the office, suggests a new survey. According to the survey published by staffing firm Robert Half, some employees may never want to work from the office ever again. The survey found that close to 35% of the WFH (work-from-home) employees who responded to the survey said they would rather quit their jobs than return to a full-time job. The Coronavirus has changed our lives forever and some of the changes implemented out of necessity may outlive the pandemic and became the new way of life.
The majority of the employers were forced to move their business and operations online and encourage employees to work from home because of the pandemic. It has also shown that work from home can be a real possibility even after we're done with this pandemic. It remains to be seen if that will indeed be the case but many employees prefer working from home, revealed the survey. Staffing firm Robert Half surveyed more than 1,000 adult employees of US companies who have been working from home over the past year. More than 1 in 3 said they would change jobs if they were asked to work from the office full time. It's fair to say the pandemic has worked out in favor of pets who now have their hoomans at home full time.
Close to half the respondents (49%) said they would prefer a hybrid work arrangement that would involve them dividing their time between the office and their preferred location. Only 25% said they wanted to return to work full-time at the office after the pandemic. Some professionals (26%) believed working from home would result in decreased productivity while 28% said relationships with coworkers could suffer. Around 20% were concerned as they believed it would reduce their chances of advancing their careers due to a lack of visibility.
Meanwhile, 26% said they wanted to work from home after the pandemic. Once the pandemic is over, employees want changes if they're asked to return to the office. Work from home employees who were surveyed said they valued their freedom and expected employers to be more flexible with working hours and dress code among other things. Flexible work hours have been advantages for those who have worked from home. Not having to dress up for work, commute to work, forced to indulge in work talk with colleagues have saved many hours for employees and provided them with more distraction-free hours. They have also been able to design and set up their own personalized work desks at home which has made many look forward to work.
Many of those who worked from home were also able to connect with their families. In many ways, the pandemic has reset the work-balance of employees and companies may have to do more to improve the work-life balance to help ease the transition to the office. The respondent of the survey added that they expected employers to cover their costs of commuting if they were asked to turn up to the office. Some said they expected companies to provide some form of 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 Robert 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 said the culture of the work environment could experience a sea change once the pandemic is over. "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," said McDonald.