A report from TalenTrust on December 20 reveals that employees continue to express a clear preference for remote or hybrid work arrangements, while also showing a willingness to return to the office if necessary.
According to the report, 50% of workers favor a fully remote work environment, 33% prefer a hybrid schedule, and 17% lean towards fully on-site work. TalenTrust CEO Kathleen Quinn Votaw noted, “While remote work has become incredibly popular, what we see is professionals who remain pragmatic. If office-based roles provide the best career growth and compensation, they will accept it. But the preference absolutely leans remote whenever possible.”
In a survey of 400 professionals, 47% indicated that they haven’t received any return-to-office mandates and have been informed that there won’t be any. If given a mandate for fully on-site work, 41% would request more flexibility, while 34% would return without questioning. However, 19% mentioned they would actively start searching for a new position offering greater flexibility.
The need for businesses to remain flexible and competitive in terms of location options is essential
Despite the preference for remote or hybrid schedules, 55% stated that they wouldn’t reject a new position that required only on-site work if the opportunity was otherwise appealing. Competitive compensation emerged as the top priority for future career moves, followed closely by flexible work location.
Kathleen Quinn Votaw emphasized the need for businesses to remain flexible and competitive in terms of location options while clearly communicating when in-office work is essential, stating, “It’s about balance.”
A survey by NORC at the University of Chicago suggested that compelling employees back to the office might lead to retention issues, particularly among those desiring remote work. Workers expressed a higher satisfaction with in-person work if they received increased pay and commuter benefits.
As more employers plan to recall employees to the office in 2024, HR experts recommend avoiding major mistakes in return-to-office plans. Leaders should signal trust in their workers, foster social connections, and implement customized plans that suit both the business and employees. Data and employee feedback are crucial in facilitating the return-to-office conversation, as demonstrated by a case at Global Payments, where a link between return-to-office policies and retention issues led to policy adjustments that positively impacted retention.