Survey: 1 in 3 will search for new job if employer requires office return

BOSTON — More than a year after COVID-19 shut down offices, most employees now say they actually prefer working from home in some capacity.

A new survey conducted by the staffing and recruitment agency Robert Half found companies that aren’t willing to continue with some remote work may lose employees.

34 percent of workers surveyed, about 1 in 3, said they’d look for a new job if their company required them to return to the office full-time.

The survey included 1000 workers, ages 18-55 or older, in office settings nationwide.

“I would caution employers to be very careful of wanting to revert back to previous standards or best practices that quite frankly probably weren’t ever best practices,” said Ryan Sutton, District President of Technology and Creative Services for the Northeast at Robert Half.

Sutton said hiring across a broad range of industries has been improving from month to month.

“Assuming that your employees don’t have opportunities and are lucky to have a job, that is shifting,” said Sutton. “Rather than force your preferences on your employees, really understand and work with them.”

26 percent of those surveyed said they prefer to continue fully remote.

49 percent said they’d like to work in a hybrid model that involves remote and in office hours.

25 percent said they want to return full-time to the office.

“Prior to the pandemic, I was 100 percent work in the office approach,” said Salah Nabhan, who works in the Biotech industry. “Now I feel like I’ve flip flopped my logic. I’m much more productive.”

A return-to-office wish list compiled from those surveyed includes the ability to set preferred work hours, relaxed dress code and employer-provided childcare.

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