New Korn Ferry Survey Shows Professionals Hesitant to Return to the Office as the Nation Begins to Reopen
(editor’s note: survey results at bottom of release)
Even when they are cleared to do so, many professionals say they will not be going back to the office, with half saying they are afraid to return. That is according to a new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey of professionals.
Fewer than a third (32 percent) say it is highly likely that they will return to their office when it re-opens. Half (50 percent) say they are fearful of going back due to health concerns, even though 75 percent say they believe their employer will create a safe and healthy work environment for them.
Forty percent of respondents say their employer will not make it mandatory that they return to the office.
While half (50 percent) say camaraderie with colleagues is what they are most looking forward to upon returning to the office, 1 in 5 (20 percent) say there is nothing that they are looking forward to about being back in the office.
According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) say they are more productive when they work from home than from the office, even with distractions such as having children or a spouse at home with them.
The vast majority (92 percent) believe there will be fewer in-person meetings post Covid-19 crisis, and 87 percent say they will be more productive as a result of less time in meetings.
“From fewer business trips to more online meetings and enhanced health and safety precautions at the office, the way we work will see a dramatic change as the nation slowly reopens,” said Bryan Ackermann, Korn Ferry global leader, Assessment and Succession, Leadership and Professional Development. “Organizational leaders must realize these changes may be difficult for employees and offer empathy, understanding and patience.”
About the Survey – The Korn Ferry survey took place in early June 2020 and includes 1,044 responses from professionals.
When your employer re-opens offices, how likely is it that you will go back to the office?
Highly likely 32 percent
Somewhat likely 38 percent
Not likely 30 percent
Are you afraid to go back to the office when it re-opens due to health concerns?
Yes 50 percent
No 50 percent
How confident are you that your employer will create a safe/healthy workspace for you when you return to the office?
Very confident 38 percent
Somewhat confident 37 percent
Somewhat unconfident 13 percent
Not at all confident 12 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 46 percent
No, going to the office will not be mandatory 40 percent
Do you think that post COVID-19 there will be more or fewer in-person meetings?
More meetings 8 percent
Fewer meetings 92 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 39 percent
I will be somewhat more productive 48 percent
I will be somewhat less productive 10 percent
I will be much less productive 3 percent
Are you more productive working from home (even if there are distractions such as a spouse or children) or from the office?
Home 64 percent
Office 36 percent
What are you most looking forward to when you return to the office?
Having a dedicated work/office space 19 percent
Camaraderie with colleagues 50 percent
In-person, face-to-face meetings with my manager 6 percent
Dressing professionally 5 percent
Nothing 20 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.