After COVID, executives wanted to get their employees back into the offices citing all sorts of reasons fearing the breakdown of teamwork and a loss of administrative control. Some employers were outright threatening and lost staff to companies which would let them work from home.
According to new research from Envoy, many companies are realising they could have been a lot more measured in their approach, rather than making big, bold, controversial decisions based on executives' opinions rather than employee data.
Envoy's CEO and founder Larry Gadea interviewed company executives and workplace managers who work in person at least one day per week. Some leaders lamented the challenge of measuring the success of in-office policies, while others said it's been hard to make long-term real estate investments without knowing how employees might feel about being in the office weeks, or even months, from now.
A consultant who advises corporate executives on their return-to-office plans Kathy Kacher said she was surprised that the numbers were not higher.
"Many organizations that attempted to force a return to the office have had to retract or change their plans because of employee pushback, and now, they don't look strong. A lot of executives have egg on their faces and they're sad about that."