Essentials: The Evolving Office Life

New RTO rules. New start times. New quitting times. New office furniture. New work friends. There’s a lot of change going on in the workplace in 2024.

Bosses made it clear last year that in 2024 employees would need to be back at the office at least some of the time. But some other changes haven’t been so choreographed. The rules of office life—written and otherwise—are being tested this year. What should the office look like? When should meetings start? When should the workday end? Can I have a close work friend?

In this Essentials, Korn Ferry looks at how firms are addressing all of these office-life questions, how the changes are affecting employee engagement and productivity, and more.

Another Spin on the RTO Wheel

One-quarter of US employees say their firms’ return-to-office rules have changed multiple times. Is the waffling causing some workers to stay home?

It’s 4 PM: Quitting Time

US workers are logging off from work, on average, earlier and earlier on Fridays. Is this a sign that they’re disengaged from their jobs?

The Office Odyssey 2024

US firms spent $44 billion redesigning their offices to be workplaces of the future. What do these new spaces look like—and how do they function? 

Won’t You Be My Work Friend?

Only two in 10 people say they have a best friend at work. Companies are aware of how much culture matters, but they say that trying to foster friendships couldn’t be more awkward.

The Furor Over 8 AM Meetings

As some firms return to 8 AM meetings, workers yawn, then gripe—including the 29 million of them who viewed a TikTok protest video.

The Silent Treatment—Between Gen Zers and Boomers

Forty percent of workers over 55 haven’t spoken to a Gen Zer at work in a year, and one in five Gen Zers to someone over 50. Why corporate leaders should be worried.


Click out all the stories in The 2024 Essentials (Midyear Version)