Employees forced back to the office twice as likely to quit than those with choice says new survey

Forced back to the office or forced to work at home: extreme choices make resignations more likely

Employees forced back to the office twice as likely to quit than those with choice says new survey

People who are forced to work in the office full-time are twice as likely to quit their jobs compared to those given a choice about where they can work, according to a new global survey from design company Hassell.

First reported in the AFR, the survey of 2500 office workers, shows that while 9% of people allowed to gravitate between home and office work are actively thinking of resigning from their jobs, this almost doubles to 19% of those forced back into office working.

On the flip side of the coin, people who are required to work full-time from home also felt more unsettled with 13% saying they were considering leaving their roles.

Although these enforced work arrangements represent a minority of employees, the data from Hassell’s 2022 Workplace Futures Survey into workplace attitudes and behaviours sends a strong message to employers on the benefits of greater flexibility as a way of hanging on to staff in a tight job market.

The position taken by some high-profile CEOs such as Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman look increasingly out of step. Gorman described people wanting to work from home as living in “Jobland” and should return to the office or “Careerland” if they want to get ahead.

Improved work-life balance was cited as the primary reason for people wanting to work away from the office, as well as the time spent on long commuting journeys.

But absence from the office is also impacting engagement with the business. The research found that employees felt less connected to their employer following the hiatus brought on by the pandemic.

Employees who felt the greatest sense of belonging and trust in their employer were those who spent between 60 to 80% of their time in the office. Among staff who either spent full-time working at home or in the office, engagement was equally low.

 

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