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The workforce software company revealed in its most recent Compensation Best Practices Report that 51% of surveyed companies are experiencing resistance from employees who do not want to return to traditional offices, a phenomenon which occurs even as executives say lockdown mandates affirmed the importance of creating relationships between team members.
Payscale found that companies have no intention to entirely rid themselves of physical office spaces: 27% of respondent organizations will have traditional work environments this year and 31% will have hybrid environments, while only 11% offer fully remote arrangements.
The return toward more traditional work arrangements has produced controversy within some of the nation’s largest firms, particularly in the technology sector. Amazon, which dismissed some 18,000 employees over the past several months and implemented a freeze on incremental hires in the corporate workforce, is now asking staff members to report to the office at least three times per week. Thousands of employees responded by starting an internal Slack channel meant to challenge the end of fully remote work; four in five members threatened in one informal survey to look for new positions elsewhere because of the policy.
Other prominent companies, such as Walmart and Disney, have likewise pivoted away from their virtual work arrangements in recent weeks. Employees of the former company must work at least twice per week from physical offices, while employees at the latter must work from offices four days per week, preferably between Monday and Thursday. Employees tend to prefer remote work arrangements because of time savings from avoided commutes and improved work-life balance.
David Bahnsen, the founder of Manhattan-based wealth management firm The Bahnsen Group, said in an interview with The Daily Wire that executives no longer believe that maintaining large quantities of remote workers is a positive course for their firms.
“The actions by companies speak for themselves: employees are not more productive at home, and the loss of accountability, firm culture, organic mentorship and training, and general team chemistry has been disastrous,” Bahnsen remarked. “Many large-company CEOs have told me even with hybrid work they have effectively created three or four day weekends every week for employees.”
The costs for employers garnered as a result of remote work can indeed outweigh the benefits of attracting and retaining talent that the arrangements sometimes enable: 85% of managers believe the shift to hybrid work has eroded confidence that employees are staying productive, according to a study from Microsoft. Payscale found that some 50% of companies with remote options monitor employees who work virtually, while only some of the 26% of companies that do monitor employees use the insights to track or manage productivity.
“There was a ‘shiny object’ flirtation with this work-from-home element that many company leaders bought into for a time, but reality has set in and the inherent benefits of employees working together in the office has become undeniable for all,” added Bahnsen, who expects that more prominent companies will scrap their remote work arrangements in the near future.