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Quarter of Workers Will Quit Job Due to RTO Policy

After nearly four years of remote work due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are struggling to bring employees back into the office. Whether returning to a five-day in-office work week or committing to a hybrid model, workers are grappling with how to prepare themselves for the post-remote work era.  

eLearning Industry’s Return to Office Survey digs deeper into how employees perceive RTO plans and concerns that are top of mind, finding that more than a quarter (25%) of employees have considered quitting their jobs over RTO mandates.  

Some of employees’ key concerns about working in the office include having no flexibility in workdays (56%), being around more germs (49%), noisy offices making it difficult to concentrate (46%), and having to make small talk around the office (38%). Employees also worry about their safety, including bomb or active shooter threats (30%) and lack of office safety and security (39%).  

Since one-third of Gen Z employees have never worked in an office before, some of their fears around working in an office include not being able to have private or confidential conversations with their boss or colleagues (54%), not sitting near people they know (54%), having to eat lunch in front of people (49%), and being less productive (47%).  

Most employees expect to spend more money on travel and commuting (78%), food expenses (70%), childcare (45%), and pet care (35%). Half of the employees estimate that the cost to return to the office ranges between $100 to $500. Additionally, a quarter of employees expect to spend between one and two hours commuting each day, eating up more of their time and flexibility.  

More than a third (38%) of employers have increased pay or agreed to cover costs associated with working in the office.  

More than half of employees are looking forward to in-office perks, including flexible work hours, professional development opportunities, reimbursed lunch and transit, workplace wellness benefits, and team building.  

Additional findings from the survey are below.  

  • Over a quarter (29%) of employees have rehomed pets due to RTO mandates, while 65% say that RTO mandates will significantly reduce the amount of time they can spend with their families. Additionally, 23% of employees say that they expect the amount of alcohol they consume to increase.  
  • Nearly three in five (58%) employees fear proximity bias will steer leadership to treat workers more favorably if they have interactions in the office. Two in five (44%) believe that CEOs don’t care if employee morale suffers because of RTO mandates. Over half (57%) of employees feel that RTO mandates are more about leaders wanting to micromanage their teams, rather than increasing productivity or improving company culture.  
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of employees say they believe going back to the office will improve their productivity. Three in four employees believe that having flexible working hours would ease their feelings about working in the office.  

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