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Working on-site isn’t worth the commute

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46% of employees say employers aren’t making the return to work appealing

A recent global survey from Executive Networks reveals that many employees don’t see the value in commuting to work as organizations continue to adjust their pandemic-era workplace policies. Of the 1,300 knowledge workers surveyed globally, only 28% feel their companies make it worth the commute, while 46% say their employers are not doing anything to make returning to the workplace more appealing. Despite this, about half of workers still believe being in the office is beneficial for career advancement. The survey also highlights a “proximity bias” against remote or hybrid workers, which can hinder their progress in the company, as acknowledged by 71% of senior HR leaders and 62% of senior business leaders.

To encourage employees to return to the office, organizations need to make it more purposeful and “commute worthy.” This requires employers to communicate the benefits of working in the office and provide equal opportunities for development and advancement, regardless of where the work is done. Many employees support flexible arrangements, such as a four-day or 32-hour workweek without a reduction in pay, with 69% of knowledge workers and 56% of front-line workers wanting this option.

The report also highlights the importance of upskilling as the critical aspect of organizational success this year. HR and business leaders believe skills-based training should be used as a retention tool, and knowledge workers want access to coaches and online courses. Upskilling can also help reduce burnout, which is a significant factor in employees leaving their positions.

It’s important to navigate workplace policies and flexible arrangements with employee needs and unique organizational factors in mind. While Generation Z workers report stifled career growth due to a lack of on-site work experience, employees with remote and hybrid schedules may feel more psychological safety and ease in discussing difficult situations with colleagues. The report concludes that organizations can gain a competitive advantage in this new world of work by adding creative benefits, designing a workplace that attracts employees, and better equipping workers and managers for flexible working.

Rita Vanhauwenhuyse, Vice President of Customer Experience and Insights in Europe for Executive Networks said: “Stress and burnout have long been documented as a reason employees leave their jobs, but the lack of opportunity to learn new things and grow in their careers is also a primary driver of employees wanting to make a change,” said in the statement.”

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