As the world begins to re-open and life slowly goes back to normal with widespread administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, our nation’s businesses may be facing another crisis — a lack of skilled workers willing to return to offices.
A study by global staffing firm Robert Half found that 34% of professionals currently working from home due to the pandemic would rather quit their job and look for another one with more flexible remote work policies if their employer told them they had to return to the office full time.
According to the press release issued by Robert Half, 49% of employees said they’d prefer a hybrid work arrangement that involved some time in the office with the flexibility to work elsewhere part of the time.
Employees Voice Concerns About Working From Home
However, just as employers have concerns about remote workers, employees also worry about the continued struggles of working from home. For instance, 28% fear their relationships with coworkers could suffer, while 20% believe they may have fewer opportunities to advance in their careers if they aren’t in the office full time where employers can see them. Finally, 26% worry about the same struggle workers have faced throughout the pandemic — decreased productivity.
Employees Returning to the Office Have Demands
What can employers do to entice highly skilled talent to return to the office? Ping-pong tables and craft beer aren’t likely to cut it this time around, based on the study responses. The 1,000 employees polled said they want the flexibility to set their own work hours, along with a private office where they can work with fewer distractions. Employees also prefer a more relaxed dress code, which most have enjoyed for more than a year working from home.
Other requests on the list included having their companies cover commuting expenses and childcare costs, perhaps even providing onsite childcare. Employee health and safety, of course, should remain paramount, but offering a safe workspace without implementing other measures may not entice top talent to a company.
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