Employers Feeling More Pain In Return-To-Work Policies

Long-time Slashdot reader lpq shares a report from Fortune: We’re now finding out the damaging consequences of the mandated return to office. And it’s not a pretty picture. A trio of compelling reports — the Greenhouse Candidate Experience report, the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), and Unispace’s Returning for Good report — collectively paint a stark picture of this brewing storm. Unispace found that nearly half (42%) of companies with return-to-office mandates witnessed a higher level of employee attrition than they had anticipated. And almost a third (29%) of companies enforcing office returns are struggling with recruitment. In other words, employers knew the mandates would cause some attrition, but they weren’t ready for the serious problems that would result.
Meanwhile, a staggering 76% of employees stand ready to jump ship if their companies decide to pull the plug on flexible work schedules, according to the Greenhouse report. Moreover, employees from historically underrepresented groups are 22% more likely to consider other options if flexibility comes to an end. In the SHED survey, the gravity of this situation becomes more evident. The survey equates the displeasure of shifting from a flexible work model to a traditional one to that of experiencing a 2% to 3% pay cut.
Flexible work policies have emerged as the ultimate edge in talent acquisition and retention. The Greenhouse, SHED, and Unispace reports, when viewed together, provide compelling evidence to back this assertion. Greenhouse finds that 42% of candidates would outright reject roles that lack flexibility. In turn, the SHED survey affirms that employees who work from home a few days a week greatly treasure the arrangement. Interestingly, Unispace throws another factor into the mix: choice. According to its report, overall, the top feelings employees revealed they felt toward the office were happy (31%), motivated (30%), and excited (27%). However, all three of these feelings decrease for those with mandated office returns (27%, 26%, and 22%, respectively). In other words, staff members were more open to returning to the office if it was out of choice, rather than forced.


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