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U.S. workers will only ‘return to office’ with new perks

A lagre number of U.S. workers do not want to return to office – some are even prepared to quit.

A typical office desk. Image: Mattes / Wikimedia / Public Domain (CC0 1.0)
A typical office desk. Image: Mattes / Wikimedia / Public Domain (CC0 1.0)

A new survey shows that U.S. citizens are willing to make changes in exchange for working from home. With this point, the poll discovered that close to 40 percent of people said they are comfortable with business leadership having visibility into their workday productivity.

The survey was conducted by Prodoscore and it polled U.S. citizens only. The answers are based on interviews conducted with 1,000 people.

In addition, in exchange for working at home, around one-quarter of workers (28.1 percent) inferred they would work longer workday hours.

Furthermore, to meet the price of working at home, 16 percent (presumably not in a union) said they would take a pay cut. Another remarkable figure, at 13.4 percent, indicated they were content to forfeit company retirement contributions. Quite why such numbers of personnel are willing to surrender their rights rather than negotiate on the basis of their higher productivity is uncertain, but such a position seems ill advised.

What is clear from these data, however, is a reluctance among a reasonable proportion of the workforce not to want to go back to the office. The primary reason for this relates to work-life balance. Other factors quoted include improvements in physical and mental health.

With these factors, 43.6 percent of workers said their physical health improved through home working and 36.7 percent said their mental health have been impacted positively since working from home.

There are circumstances where the relatively better-off office workers in the U.S. commit to working  in-office all of the time if it was a four-day work week. Other measures that employers could consider for enticing home workers back appears to be things like free lunches weekly or commute stipends.

Other workers have cited pet-friendly workplaces and day-care as means to make the return to the workplace more appealing.

Even with these provisos, there remains an entrenched one quarter of employees who indicate that there are no perks that would encourage them to work in the office full time. These workers are not part of the group who miss the social interaction of work. There is business data that suggests some workers are choosing to resign from their positions rather than opting back for the daily commute.

The diverse elements of the survey creates a dilemma for employers. Do they force workers back? Do they try to entice workers back with new benefits? Or do they accept, for a chunk of the workforce, that home working is the norm? Perhaps a form of hybrid working is the best option.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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