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Full-time Return-to-Work Interest Low

Despite an increase in return-to-office mandates throughout APAC, workers express a strong preference for continuing hybrid and remote work.

By Maggie Mancini

Four years into the pandemic, the global workforce is still debating the merits and downfalls of hybrid work patterns. Insights from over 3,400 professionals and 650 employers by global talent services company, Morgan McKinley, finds that 89% of respondents express a strong preference for continuing in a hybrid or remote work model despite organisations pushing return-to-office (RTO) mandates.  

There are regional differences from companies with RTO mandates with Hong Kong (91%), Australia (65%), Japan (62%), Singapore (61%), and China (59%) exhibiting higher rates of RTO compared to 40% in the U.K., 40% in Canada, and 42% in Ireland.  

Professionals with hybrid working models express the highest contentment with their work patterns, with half willing to forego pay raises for flexibility. Further, 56% of companies globally are urging staff to return to the office more regularly.  

On-site workers show higher rates of actively seeking new employment opportunities compared to hybrid and remote workers. Flexible working arrangements have emerged as a crucial factor in talent acquisition and retention, with 61% of hiring managers highlighting its importance.  

The survey finds that one or two days in the office is the favoured weekly working pattern for 43% of professionals, with a further 29% selecting three or four days. Only 12% are happy to be in the office for the full five working days. This indicates a disconnect between employer and employee expectations.  

“Simply mandating a five-day-a-week office presence would likely encounter resistance and productivity dips,” says Paul Strong, executive director at Morgan McKinley. “Our research underscores the resounding preference for flexibility, with 86% advocating for continued adoption of hybrid arrangements. Companies, therefore, need to implement a strategic and mindful approach to this remote rewind. Striking the balance between flexibility and practicality calls for close collaboration through open communication channels and understanding the motivations driving employees’ desires for flexible work arrangements.” 

Tags: APAC April 2024, APAC News

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