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Employees Want RTO Perks

Whether employees prefer Monday to Friday in the office, at, home, or somewhere in between, the great workplace debate around attendance that intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic still rages on.  

But what exactly will the workforce need to ditch remote working and return to the office? Ringover surveyed 1,038 adults who currently or until recently worked as remote employees about their experiences of RTO mandates and what they would need to meet their bosses’ demands.  

Key findings are below.  

  • Just 3.7% of people would be unwilling to accept their employers’ RTO policy irrespective of offers or perks. 
  • Eight in 10 employees would be encouraged back to the office if their commute was paid for by their organization. 
  • An average pay raise of $7,500 annually will make the most people (48%) return to the office. 
  • Most remote workers (77.6%) expect a pay increase of some sort, but 67.4% would be willing to quit to negotiate a deal. 
  • More than two-thirds of people (68.1%) say that their employer has implemented an RTO policy where attendance is mandatory or heavily encouraged by management.  
  • Seven in 10 (71.6%) are willing to attend the office twice or three times per week, closely aligning with their employers’ RTO policies.  

It’s important to understand the landscape of RTO policies in the current climate. Approximately 77% of Fortune 100 companies have initiated an RTO policy since 2021, with most staff in for three days each week.  

While 17.2% of employees haven’t faced an RTO policy, it’s mandatory (29.8%) or heavily encouraged (38.3%) for others. About 14.7% of employees say that their in-office time is optional.  

For 3.7% of remote working employees, no amount of salary increases or in-office perks are enough to convince them to return to the office. However, for the remaining 96.3% who see a middle ground, there are various conditions and offers they’d look for to make an RTO mandate more palatable.  

Naturally, the most obvious challenge with any RTO policy for workers is the daily commute. The survey shows that commutes remain a major sticking point for workers, with 83% of respondents saying that they would be willing to return if their organization paid for their return. Other perks that would make people more willing to be in the office include on-site gym and wellness facilities (77.1%), more social time with colleagues (76%), charitable contributions (75.7%), four-day work week (74.1%), social events (72.4%), and free lunch (70.2%).  

Everyone wants to earn more money, right? The survey reveals that 95% of people would be willing to accept a salary increase in return for adhering to an organization’s RTO policy; around half of those agreed that losing the right to work remotely wouldn’t come at any price. 

Almost half of people surveyed (48%) agreed that a raise of $5,000-$10,000 would be enough to return to the office—an average of $7,500. One in 10 (12.6%) respondents were looking for more than $10,000 in compensation for losing the freedom to work remotely. This survey also shows that a higher proportion of men (53%) would be influenced by pay increases than women (46%). 

The results show a surprising overlap. Just 3.7% of respondents say they would be unwilling to follow an RTO mandate, and more than seven in 10 (71.6%) are happy to adopt the hybrid approach of attending for two to three days per week. 

This corresponds closely with the request of businesses with RTO policies, according to respondents. Nearly three-quarters (74.7%) of people say that their organization would prefer them to attend twice or three times per week; only 5% of organizations demand staff work all five days in their offices. 

The research suggests that while workers demand more perks from their employees to return to the office more regularly, staff are fundamentally willing to attend on the days requested by their employers, showing once again hybrid work is the new norm in the work week. 

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