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Research Finds Disconnect Between How Employees Want to Work and What Managers Are Planning
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A year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic, employers and employees have workplace preferences after adapting and adjusting out of necessity.
But according to new research from Menlo Park, Calif.-based hiring firm Robert Half, those employers and employees don’t seem to be on the same page about returning to the office.
More than 7 in 10 senior managers will require workers to return fully to the office, according to the findings, even though 1 in 3 employees working remotely would look for another job if forced to go back.
Senior managers cite hybrid challenges, from communication to professional development
A previous Robert Half survey found that nearly half (49%) of employees surveyed prefer a hybrid arrangement, which is at odds with the 16% of senior managers in the new survey leaning toward a mix of on-site and remote work.
While team members prefer a split, senior managers express various challenges about supervising teams in a hybrid arrangement.
These stumbling blocks include:
- Effective communication (22%)
- Trust that employees will get their work done (20%)
- Getting a feel for appropriate workloads and avoiding employee burnout (20%)
- Recognition of accomplishments (20%)
- Finding ways to support professional development (19%)
Beyond the in-office or hybrid debate, another 12% of senior managers are leaving it up to their employees to decide.
Where hybrid work opportunities will be
Hybrid or fully in-office job opportunities will vary across cities, industries and company sizes.
According to the Robert Half survey, companies that will offer at least part-time remote work are most likely to be found in Boston (45%), San Francisco (38%) and Philadelphia (37%).
Those cities are followed by:
- Dallas and Pittsburgh (35%)
- Chicago, Minneapolis and Raleigh, N.C. (34%)
- Cleveland (33%)
- Los Angeles, San Diego and Tampa, Fla. (31%)
- New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C. (30%)
- Indianapolis (28%)
- Sacramento, Calif. (27%)
Employees in marketing (30%) and finance (28%), as well as those in organizations with 1,000-plus workers, might have a better chance of finding such an arrangement. Here’s how that plays out:
|How people will work, by industry|
|Finance||Technology||Marketing||Legal||Admin support||Human resources|
|Fully in office||71%||72%||68%||72%||81%||75%|
|Employees can decide||10%||9%||13%||12%||8%||12%|
|How people will work, by number of employees|
|Fully in office||72%||74%||68%|
|Employees can decide||13%||10%||11%|
A June 2021 LendingTree study found that 25% of Americans thought about starting a business during the coronavirus pandemic. With 17% of these respondents citing the crisis as a reason, it’s no surprise that some employees are at odds with their workplace. Those thinking about starting a business could consider a startup loan to get the process rolling.
Methodology: Robert Half commissioned independent research firms to field online surveys of over 5,600 senior managers and employees. The research was conducted in two parts: March 26 to April 15, 2021, with more than 2,800 workers ages 18 or older, and June 4 to July 1, 2021, with more than 2,800 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.