The Return to a Traditional Workplace May Be Inevitable This Year According Recent Survey

A recent survey may indicated a shift in the hiring strategy for most employers this year to replenish the traditional workplace.

Chris Frew, CEO at Workforce Genetics

As the world continues to navigate the aftermath of the pandemic, many companies are re-evaluating their approach to work in 2023, and the role of the office has returned as an important part of their operational strategy. A recent survey found that 90% of Companies Will Require Employees to Return to a Traditional Workplace this year.

This shift back towards in-person collaboration and connection is an indication of the growing realization of the benefits that come with traditional working environments – for both employers and employees.

The survey, which received feedback from 1,000 employers of companies that have been in business for at least three years and had a majority of workers in traditional office spaces prior to the pandemic, revealed some interesting findings. Currently, 66% of employers require employees to work from the office with some frequency. In the next six months, 73% of fully remote companies will return to in-person work, indicating that by 2023, 9 in 10 companies will likely require employees to work from the office with some frequency.

Additionally, 77% of employers with a hybrid workplace plan intend to change their policies within the next six months. Of this group, 10% will require full-time office work, 40% will require four days a week in the office, and 31% will mandate three days a week.

What does this mean for hiring?  With tens of thousands of layoffs over the past 4 months and the sweeping renewal of in-office work culture, employers seem to be gaining back more control of what has been a candidate-driven market for the past three years. This means that employers will have more power to require employees to get back into the workplace, and more options for employees who are willing to do so. 

However, many employers will offer incentives to encourage employees to embrace the return to the office. The survey found that 41% of companies will provide catered meals, 35% will offer commuter benefits, and 34% will raise wages. Other perks that some companies may offer include improved office spaces, company events, childcare, and pet stipends. However, it’s worth noting that 21% of respondents stated they will terminate employees who do not comply with return-to-office policies.

Despite the trend towards in-person work, it’s important to note that hiring and retaining top talent will require flexibility. As Stacie Haller, a representative from, points out, “Many job candidates are primarily looking for remote or hybrid work, and our study shows that more than 70 percent of companies will still offer a flexible work model.”

While the idea of returning to a traditional workplace may seem daunting, there are clear advantages which many employees are beginning to acknowledge as well. The survey showed that 96% of business leaders believe there are benefits to having employees in the office, with 55% citing improved communication as a reason to return to in-person work. In-person collaboration leads to better communication and problem-solving, which in turn can lead to increased productivity and employee engagement. It also allows for better team-building, fostering a sense of community within the workplace and improved company culture.

According to a separate Gallup study, hybrid work – which combines remote and in-office work – has a number of advantages. The study found that hybrid work can increase employee engagement and productivity, as well as improve work-life balance and job satisfaction. Additionally, hybrid work can also lead to cost savings for employers, as it allows for a more flexible use of office space.

However, it’s also important to acknowledge the challenges that come with returning to a traditional or hybrid workplace. One such challenge is ensuring that remote employees are not left out of important conversations and decision making. Additionally, there can be difficulties in maintaining company culture and building a sense of community when employees are not all in the same physical location.  Fortunately, these are challenges that many employers have become accustomed to which human resource leaders can overcome.

As thought leaders in our industry, it’s our responsibility to approach this topic with a holistic perspective. While returning to a traditional workplace may not be the right fit for every company, it’s important to consider the potential benefits and address the challenges head-on. Clear communication protocols and a focus on building a strong company culture and fostering a sense of community, both in-person and remotely, can help mitigate these challenges.

These findings highlight the importance of staying informed and adaptable as companies continue to navigate the shifting work landscape. As the world continues to evolve, it’s crucial for businesses and job seekers alike to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and strategies to stay competitive and successful. 

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