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Employees Are Still Reluctant to Return to Office, And They Have Their Reasons

While the labor market has become way more employee-friendly as compared to how it was in 2019, many people don't to go back to the office.
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Ivan Samkov
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Ivan Samkov

Workers are resisting returning to the office for as long as they can even as the employers are revising their work from office mandates. During the last three years, employees have realized that working from home was beneficial for them, and now they simply refuse to go back to their office desks.

As per The Wall Street Journal, office attendance in the US remains at around 40% to 60% while the numbers are back to normal in the other continents.

Pexels | Vlada Karpovich
Pexels | Vlada Karpovich

While the labor market has become way more employee-friendly as compared to how it was in 2019, many employees still don't want to go back to their offices. There are many reasons that workers feel deter them from going to the office.

Commute may be too long or burns a hole in their pocket – Nobody wants to waste their time and spend extra money commuting to office when they can work from the comfort of their homes without having to rush.

Slow or Outdated Tech In Office – These days most people have good tech infra at home that they are comfortable with. Employees simply don't want to struggle with outdated machines and slower technology.

Unhealthy Working environment – People feel they are better off not facing their colleagues they don't like. 

A new Pew Research report found that 61% employees who had a office setup outside their home have chosen not to go to their place of employment. While 31% respondents said that they were working from home as their offices are closed or are not available.

This finding is almost opposite to the situation during the pandemic. At that time, 64% employees responded that as their offices were closed they were operating from homes. On the other hand 36% respondents said that they chose to work from home.


The employers are relying on incentives. In April, Envoy conducted a survey and found that employers were offering various incentives to draw the employees back to offices. The website also said that companies are transitioning by using a hybrid model which is giving the employees more time to settle back to their pre-pandemic routines. Businesses are also working towards creating a safer workplace to attract a good task force. 

"HR professionals need to be prepared for a variety of responses, reactions, and experiences," said Peg Buchenroth, senior vice president of human resources at national staffing agency Addison Group, as per TechTarget. 

Businesses are also accepting the fact that this flexibility is here to stay and while remote work will not become the normal, it will also not completely go away.

Businesses also need to work on creating a healthy work-life balance. In another survey, it was found that 30% employees left their jobs because they didn't feel they had a good work-life balance. 

Other ways the employers are using is turning the office into an attractive place. Co-working spaces are increasingly focusing on making the workspace a wholesome place with sleeping pods and great cafeterias that help create a good atmosphere to work in.


According to a report by Deloitte, the hybrid model is the most promising model. As per their research, the C-suite and the senior leaders like to give employees more autonomy when it came to the work model. To them the hybrid model is convenient.

In one study, over 60% of respondents felt that they wanted to go to the office sometimes in an effort to maintain a good work culture. However, 44% simply agreed that hybrid was the way to go.