What happens when people who can work remotely are asked to return to the office?
According to research from Gallup, they have significantly lower employee engagement, along with higher burnout and a desire to quit.
The study, conducted with more than 8000 workers throughout the United States, provided a lot of important insights about the American worker’s state of mind.
More than half of the employees who took the survey said that they could do virtually all the tasks required for their job away from the office.
Of those who said they could work away from the office, about 20% are currently working on-site.
About 30% are working exclusively at home.
And about 50% are working both at home and in the office.
Gallup predicts that, by the end of this year, people currently working from both home and office will jump from 50% to 55%.
About 1/3rd of those surveyed want to work from home permanently even though many employers are trying to make that less and less common over time.
But there is some good news. Fully on-site work is expected to remain a relic of the past.
Only 20% of those surveyed are working entirely on site and that number is not expected to change any time soon.
The research goes on to say that more than 90% of 70 million employees in the U.S. don’t want to go back to the office full time.
Question: What’s wrong with our work environment where more than 90% don’t want to come back to the office?
Is it too much traffic?
Cubicles that provide no privacy?
Or a combination of things?
The solution to the problem.
For starters, employers need to accept the new normal. The days of having a fully staffed office environment 5 days a week are gone.
But when employees are in the office, employees need to provide them multiple reasons to stay engaged.
I’ve recently completed research of my own with Dr. Reshma Shah in partnership with Emory Executive Education at Emory University.
Our research found that employees are attracted to and stay engaged with companies that provide them opportunities for growth.
This can often come in the form of leadership development programs designed to train future leaders how to communicate more effectively, improve their productivity, inspire their team members, and resolve conflicts more easily.
If you would like to read a summary of the report and/or download the full report, click here or click the image below.
The bottom line: Research from Gallup shows that, among other things, 90% of those surveyed don’t want to return to the office full time. Additional research I conducted with Dr. Reshma Shah in partnership with Emory Executive Education at Emory University found that leadership development training is one way companies can attract new employees and keep existing employees engaged with the company.
About the Author: Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized author, professor, consultant, and speaker who has helped employees at The Coca-Cola Company, Holiday Inn, Microsoft, Verizon and others do a better job leading, managing, and mentoring others. To have him speak at your event or organization, email him at: Jamie@JamieTurner.Live