A large number of HR managers in US companies are struggling to entice workers back to the office, even as employees continue to abandon remote working in the midst of growing pressure from their bosses.
A recent survey by analyst firm Conference Board found that 73% of HR managers are having trouble bringing workers back on site.
When it comes to retaining talent, the challenge is far bigger. Organizations with a mandated return to on-site work policies are losing employees, while those offering flexible work arrangements are attracting new talent.
Stuck between employees’ reluctance to return to the office and declining productivity, some companies are offering a variety of incentives to lure workers back. Team building and celebratory events, flexible days/hours and relaxed casual dress codes are among the most highly used enticements.
Further analysis shows that 76% of professional and office workers surveyed are working in a hybrid or remote model.
To attract and retain talent, C-suites need to develop policies that strike a balance between workplace flexibility and the cultural and social benefits of on-site work, the firm suggested.
“The resistance is completely predictable because remote working has become the new normal,” said Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Workers have adjusted their lives around remote and hybrid work, in some cases even where they decided to live. Moving back to the office would be a huge disruptive change.”