Are Employees Starting To Feel Comfortable Returning To The Office? You Make The Call

Employee comfort about returning to the office has increased according to survey results from the Conference Board. In January 2022, only 71 percent of workers said they were comfortable returning to the office. In March 2022 that number increased to 82 percent.

According to the recent survey, 75 percent of workers in the U.S. said returning to the workplace will increase networking opportunities and build relationships. Seventy-two percent of workers said returning to the office will enhance collaboration, and 70 percent thought it would help maintain company culture.

A report from September 2021 found employees felt more isolated from their employers during the pandemic. Fifty-one percent of people working remotely had concerns about limited connections with their colleagues, and 47 percent were worried about the boundary between work and personal life becoming blurred.

Work-life balance was a big issue for those surveyed. Over a third of respondents said the constant expectation to be available made them anxious, and 32 percent said the same about increased hours and workloads. Experts say remote work may provide a better work-life balance for some, but the lack of clear boundaries between work and personal time may increase stress and burnout for others.

More workers may be comfortable returning to the office, but there are some drawbacks. One third of respondents are worried about the time and cost of commuting; 26 percent are afraid of contracting COVID-19 at the office; 41 percent are concerned about mental health decreasing; 38 percent are concerned about decreased engagement and morale; and 41 percent fear burnout will increase. Bhavna Sarin "Employees increasingly willing to return to office: Survey" (May 02, 2022).

So, the question for our readers is: Are your employees getting comfortable with returning to the office?

Please take the poll. Subscribe and listen to our RiskTrendsTM Trusted Insight Podcast to hear discussions regarding the responses of our readers to the poll question in our weekly "You Make The Call" articles, as well as discussions on other emerging workplace risks.

Here is the opinion of one of the McCalmon editorial staff:


Jack McCalmon, Esq.

I imagine that as more time passes, more employees will become comfortable with returning to the office on certain days. On the other hand, employers that require employees to be at work full-time even though it is not necessary versus a hybrid model that allows employees to work at home during certain days of the week will find recruiting more difficult and experience higher turnover.

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