Why Employers Want Employees to Return to Office

Key highlights:

  • According to the Future Forum Pulse report, 76% of employees do not want to return to the office
  • There’s a big disconnect between employers and employees
  • Employers are more likely to return to office and expect the same of employees
  • Employees want to work from home or in a hybrid work model
  • The reasons why employees want workers to return to office are beyond team-building and collaboration

Working from home has been the norm for the last two years and was necessary to fight the pandemic. But, as the pandemic slows down and vaccination drives worldwide pace, managers and employers expect employees to return to office, whether employees want it or not.

Employers think that the remote work culture was a need during the pandemic. But, as the world recovers from the aftermath of the pandemic, the world of work should return to the pre-pandemic times. However, there’s a wide gap between the thinking of employers and employees. 

According to the Future Forum Pulse report, 76% of employees do not want to return to the office, whereas executives working remotely are three times more likely to return full-time. The report also reveals that 76% of employees look for flexibility in their work, and 93% of employees look for flexibility when they work. The disconnect between the executives and non-executives is clear, and failure to address it could lead to critical situations for organizations and companies sooner or later.

You might also be interested to read: Workplace Safety Measures to Return to Work Safely

The real reasons why employers expect employees to return to office

When employers and leaders ask workers to return to office, there are usually three reasons behind the idea: team-building, collaboration, and connection. While these three are vital considerations, another factor might be driving this call. This factor is Control.

Control is a powerful coping technique whenever there is uncertainty. On the other hand, uncertainty is an uncomfortable and often-overwhelming situation for executives. After living the last two years in uncertainty induced by the pandemic, it wouldn’t be unwise to assume that leaders are looking to control more parts of their work-life while extending that control to those working with or under them.

Another reason why employers are so eager to see employees in offices is trust. There is always a fear of lack of productivity from employees with remote working, even if they are monitored thoroughly using remote monitoring software and trackers. The psychology of managers is that if they can’t see an employee working, they are not working at all, which is biased because many employees deliver the best performance when allowed work flexibility.

With employees back in offices, employers and managers can take charge of employees’ productivity and monitor them to assure themselves of getting the best performance possible.

While employers are trying to bring employees back to office, employers favor working in a hybrid work culture to have the much-needed flexibility. Employers and managers should support employees on a more human level while asking them to return to office. Plus, if an employee feels more productive at home and performs at their best, unsettling their flow by bringing them back to the office may not be a good call, and employers need to understand this before things spiral out of control.


  • The Great Disconnect: Many More Employers Than Workers Want To Return To Offices | Edward Segal | Oct 5 2021
  • Making sense of why executives are eager to get employees back in the office | Alex Sherman | Mar 8 2022

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