Only 14 Percent Say Returning to the Office Every Day Will Be Mandatory
As employers across the globe consider options for bringing workers back to the office, a new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey shows that even though professionals are not afraid of returning, many will choose to stay at home.
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents say they are not afraid of returning to the office and 74 percent feel their colleagues will follow safety guidelines (wearing masks, social distancing). However, 53 percent say it is either only somewhat likely or not likely that they will return when the offices re-open.
The majority of respondents (58 percent) say they are more productive when working virtually, even if there are distractions such as a spouse and children at home.
“A vast majority of professionals have spent the last several months working from home, and for many, the new routine has in fact made them more productive,” said Sarah Jensen Clayton, Senior Client Partner and Lead, North America Culture & Change. “But it’s still incumbent upon employers to create new, virtual ways to maintain organizational culture and employee engagement.”
According to the survey, employers recognize that a virtual work environment or a hybrid approach of working from home and the office may be the new long-term norm. Only 14 percent say returning to the office every day will be mandatory.
While a little more than half (57 percent) of the professionals surveyed say they are most looking forward to camaraderie with colleagues if they do go back to the office, 23 percent say they are not looking forward to any part of returning.
“Regardless if the decision is to allow employees to continue working virtually or bring them back to the office, now is the time for employers to re-evaluate the employee experience,” said Clayton. “COVID has dramatically changed employees’ expectations and the future of work is being defined now.”
About the survey
The Korn Ferry survey of 1,329 professionals took place in late September 2020.
Are you afraid to go back to the office when it re-opens?
Yes 28 percent
No 72 percent
If your office is still closed, how likely is it that you will go back to the office when it re-opens?
Highly likely 47 percent
Somewhat likely 29 percent
Not likely 24 percent
How confident are you that your colleagues will follow safety guidelines (e.g. social distancing, mask wearing) when you return to the office?
Very confident 37 percent
Somewhat confident 37 percent
Somewhat unconfident 17 percent
Not at all confident 9 percent
Will your employer make it mandatory for you to go back to the office when it opens back up?
Yes, every day 14 percent
Yes, but not every day 41 percent
No, going to the office will not be mandatory 45 percent
Are you more productive working from home (even if there are distractions such as a spouse or children) or from the office?
Home 58 percent
Office 42 percent
What are you most looking forward to when you return to the office?
Having a dedicated work/office space 18 percent
Camaraderie with colleagues 57 percent
Dressing professionally 2 percent
Nothing 23 percent
Do you think that post COVID-19 there will be more or fewer in-person meetings?
More meetings 6 percent
Fewer meetings 94 percent
If you think there will be fewer in-person meetings post COVID-19, how do you think that will impact productivity?
I will be much more productive 27 percent
I will be somewhat more productive 50 percent
I will be somewhat less productive 17 percent
I will be much less productive 6 percent
About Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.