Forcing in-office mandates isn’t always effective as employees openly resist their boss’ orders

Forcing in-office mandates isn’t always effective as employees openly resist their boss’ orders
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It is not the best time for CEOs to publicly push for a fully in-person work model as more workers openly resist these orders. According to a study from WFH Research, only 49% of workers expected to return to the office are actually going in five days a week. 

At the same time, around 40% of workers still working remotely at least once a week are ready to quit and look for other jobs if their employers mandated a full-office return.

These findings are the latest from WFH Research’s team of experts Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven Davis. The organization — built in 2020 — has been surveying 2,500 to 5,000 Americans on their work-from-home (WFH) attitudes every month.

The data stated above revealed that remote work still has a strong hold over the workforce’s mindset. Strong enough to give them the courage to disobey their employer’s ultimatums

Remember Elon Musk’s threats to fire Tesla employees who will continue working remotely? Respondents from WFH Research’s poll said that it is most likely empty.

The majority of workers (43.2%) who are in the office fewer than they were asked to no consequences were issued for their actions. While some reported threats of termination occurred, only 6.3% said that someone was fired.

However, Barrero still views in-person work to be effective for collaboration, conversation, and decision making. This, in turn, brings us to the middle ground of in-office and remote work policies: hybrid work.

Hybrid work trumps it all

As time goes on, full-time office models are becoming harder to justify. During the last two years, workers with flexible schedules reported an increase in productivity and teamwork. In fact, it is so effective that consulting company Gallup said that more than half of employees prefer hybrid work models. 

Further, WFH Research said that 83.8% of employees who are ordered to work in the office for only four days a week are following their company’s orders.

So if the work could be done from home, why should employees have to brave the everyday commute to go back to the office? Davis, one of the researchers, said that business leaders have to come up with an “enticing reason” to mandate a five-day office workweek.

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