56% look forward to returning to the office — just don’t force them back


When it comes to returning to the office, 56% of employees surveyed by Grant Thornton LLP are looking forward to doing so. They just don’t want to be required to come back.

Grant Thornton’s survey found that 79% want flexibility in when and where they work, and 40% would look for another job if forced to return to the office full time.

“There is most definitely a war for talent occurring, with an intensity unseen in recent years,” said Tim Glowa, a principal and leader of Grant Thornton’s employee listening and human capital services offerings. “Our survey finds that workers want flexibility. But ‘flexibility’ does not mean working from home 100% of the time, and physically returning to work does not mean being in the office five days a week.”

The survey also found that 51% of workers would give up a salary increase of 10% to 20% in exchange for more flexibility.

“The challenge that companies face is creating an engaging experience for all employees, whether they are working in an office or remotely,” said Jennifer Morelli, a principal and leader of Grant Thornton’s Business Change Enablement practice. “Organizations need to make sure they are providing meaningful opportunities and reasons to come into the office. For example, in-person working sessions, an important meeting or a team-building event.”

The survey included more than 1,500 full-time employees at US companies.