Nearly 70 per cent of Canadian hybrid workers go to the office two to three times a week, a new Capterra report that surveyed 1,021 part- and full-time employees working at least some days from the office has found.
The increased prevalence of hybrid work comes as companies like IBM, Amazon, Disney, Google, and even remote work poster child Zoom have vehemently pushed return to office (RTO) mandates.
Another report from Resume Builder also revealed that 91 per cent of companies will require employees to go to the office on a monthly basis, and 75 per cent will require employees to work from the office weekly.
Companies are even taking it a step further, with 95 per cent saying that employees will suffer consequences if they don’t comply. Their employment, bonuses, and salaries will likely be at risk, Resume Builder says. Reportedly, 80 per cent of companies will also track office attendance in 2024.
The Capterra report says that the RTO trend after COVID-19 restrictions temporarily closed some workplaces was perhaps influenced by employers who don’t want their investments in physical office space to go to waste.
But many organizations requiring employees to come to the office at least sometimes also tout increased productivity, valuable social connections, and higher trust at work, Capterra acknowledged.
However, some businesses perceive such rigid RTO policies to clamp down on things like absenteeism can be perceived as disregarding employees’ well being. Several companies have, in fact, seen employees quit en masse following stringent in-office mandates.
In Canada, only 23 per cent of surveyed employees in Canada report having company-wide mandatory in-office days. The same number of surveyed employees said their department also enforces mandatory in-office days.
But employees should be incentivized back to the office, Capterra says.
Nearly a third of employees who go to the office less than five times a week (32 per cent) said perks like free snacks and coffee would motivate them to come in more often.
“Free food might seem like an oversimplified tactic for boosting office attendance, but it could be a deciding factor for many workers,” said Tessa Anaya, analyst at Capterra, in an interview with ITWC.
She added, “Factors such as social events, a better office location, or even a more diverse and inclusive work environment were selected by far fewer employee respondents, which speaks to the motivational power of a good cup of coffee.”
The Resume Builder report also noted that a whopping 91 per cent of companies say they will provide incentives to employees for going into the office. These incentives include happy hours (52 per cent), catered meals (46 per cent), and upgraded office space (41 per cent). But fewer employers will offer bigger incentives such as raises (40 per cent) and child care benefits (37 per cent).
Other top incentives to increase employee attendance are related to the physical space offered, Capterra noted. Twenty-eight per cent said having private or isolated areas would motivate them to come more often to the office, while 27 per cent said wellness facilities like a gym would have the same effect. These spaces could serve to reduce distractions as well as support mental health in the workplace.
“Everyone is different, however,” added Anaya. “It’s important to keep the preferences of your staff at top of mind when strategizing your RTO efforts. Asking them directly via employee survey may be the best bet to ensure that the amenities your office is providing are well received by your employees.”
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