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Why Return to the Office at All?

Some managers believe that it’s easier to manage a team in person, while others believe that serendipitous interactions and impromptu meetings are more likely to occur when everyone is in the same space. Additionally, some companies have concerns about data security and employee productivity when employees are working remotely. Others are looking to justify the cost of long-term office leases.

According to a recent survey by FlexJobs, 65% of respondents said they want to work from home full-time post-pandemic, while 31% preferred a hybrid model that allows for some in-office work. Only 4% of respondents said they want to go back to working in an office full-time.

However, some companies have already demanded that employees return to the office. Apple, for example, told employees that they will be required to come into the office at least three days as of last September. JPMorgan Chase had employees return to the office on a rotational basis. Other companies, like Google, announced that they were allowing employees to work remotely until the end of last year.

Employees who prefer remote work cite various reasons for their preference, including the lack of a commute, the ability to customize a workspace, and the flexibility to balance work and personal life. Many also believe that remote work leads to better work-life balance and a higher level of job satisfaction. 

What should employers do to address so many competing interests?


Recognize you can’t do it all. You have a business to run and you can’t please everyone. Start with business priorities and strategies first and determine the best workplace model from there, factoring in your mission, values and vision.

Design design design. When employees come to the office, what do they experience? Make the onsite requirement a meaningful one. To learn how, check out our recent blog post.

Listen. Learn. Evolve. Measure employee engagement, productivity, business performance and job satisfaction and be prepared to refine your hybrid culture based on these insights.

Be prepared to scale. There are extraordinarily flexible, affordable options for organizations who want to mitigate risk during a time of uncertainty and learning. Learn more about how coworking companies have evolved to become the go-to for hybrid companies in these situations.

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