Are Return to Office Mandates Backfiring?

October 1st, 2023
5 mins to read
Are Return to Office Mandates Backfiring?

Flexible workplaces are attracting talent twice as quickly as those requiring full-time attendance, suggesting that forcing a return to the office may backfire.

As we see there is no end to return to office mandates and employees are struggling with those mandates. We are seeing numerous backlash from them. 

Specifically, companies like Amazon, Google, Zoom, Grindr, and Meta have officially started to fully return to the office with the mandates being implemented. The mandates have made several employees quit their jobs or out there protesting for better policies. As all the top corporations have mentioned, their main top priority is flexibility.

By 2024, employers will emphasize the return to mandates but this only helps them restructure their workforce. As we are hearing from CNBC experts say that companies have started to do soft layoffs which is making their workplace and their work unappealing. Since those companies are not applying any new tactics. 

What Are Companies Tactics Inducing Layoffs? 

To Reduce layoffs companies are applying the same old tactics that are:

  1. The hiring process is slowed down or stopped
  2. Employees buyout or early retirement package - this means employees are encouraged to leave the company on their own terms, and the business can cut personnel without having to engage in forced layoffs.
  3. Shortening the workday or imposing a brief leave 

What Exactly Are Companies Trying to Do? 

The current focus is also on the quiet quitters almost like quiet quitting, quite firing concept. As we have learned the current work environment is unpleasant, the purpose was to target the quiet quitters and those with other alternatives.

Figuring out the quiet quitting term, which has been on the trend for quite a long time. The perception that millions of workers are just fulfilling their job descriptions and not going above and beyond at work is currently going viral on social media. This is a problem because most occupations nowadays involve some level of extra effort to communicate with coworkers and meet client expectations.

This focuses on the overall aspects of: 

  1. Engagement within the workplace 
  2. Lack of productivity and communication 
  3. Unmanageable workload 
  4. Lack of job role clarity 

This impacts employee's mental health and wellness because those have unreasonable aspects that employees are either doing the bare minimum or nothing. This has increased awareness by 20% to 30% increase in quiet quitting. 

With return-to-office mandates, this has increased to approximately 50% because employee engagement at work has gone down and this simple strategy has impacted many of us. 

Why Do These Return To Office Mandates Need A Positive Effect? 

The positive side of return-to-office mandates is looking into the realistic reasons after the pandemic which are the workforce itself, retention of new talent (hiring), and wellness of employees. This brings new insights of getting to learn in-depth about the company, its mission, and vision but all of the above is their employees. Employees are the force that keeps new ideas and projects brings the innovative together 

For employees to cooperate and be productive in person rather than online, return-to-office policies, and regulations must be implemented. The collaboration that takes place in person, whether it begins as a casual conversation that helps your team obtain information or keep up with one another, is sometimes limited by working online or remotely. 

A Must Listen On Return To Office Mandates Backfiring

National Public Radio called WUSF has pointed to a challenge and the urgency of why corporations are returning to the office and their mandates in-depth. 

Three years after the pandemic, companies like Apple, Meta, Amazon, and Disney are urging employees to work more hours, despite the potential shift in workplace norms and expectations due to the pandemic.

The guest Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Flex Strategy Group, has been assisting organizations for over 20 years in reimagining work processes, while an assistant professor of economics at the University of Virginia, Emma Harrington, contributes to the discussion.

They have mentioned a lot of pointers that corporations are taking into consideration to improve the workplace environment and recruit new talents.  Also discussed the hybrid work model and its changing into coming 2 to 3 days in a week.

Aqsa Aamir
Aqsa Aamir

Aqsa Aamir is a Digital Strategist at Litespace and has a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management. Aqsa has experience in several areas of business and digital strategy. Aqsa's proficiency in creating hybrid work tactics to offer guidance in content planning. Her current focus is on hybrid work models and culture building in marketing. 

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