- Majority of companies want staff back on-site, which could lead to turnover
- Millennials and working parents most likely to look for a new job if required to be in the office five days a week
Toronto, ON — After two years of office spaces sitting empty, many companies are eager to call employees back for good, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. In a survey of more than 800 senior managers in Canada, more than half of respondents (55 per cent) said they want their teams to work on-site full time as COVID-19-related restrictions ease, nearly unchanged from a similar survey conducted last year.
Currently, 44 per cent of senior managers support long-term hybrid schedules (where staff can divide time between the office and another location) and employees’ ability to choose where they work. Managers at large companies with 1,000 or more employees (54 per cent) are most open to flexibility.
The Risk of an Employee Exodus
Separate research from Robert Half reveals that a full return to office may lead to more resignations. In a survey of more than 500 professionals in Canada, more than half of respondents currently working from home (53 per cent) would look for a new job that offers remote options if their company required employees to return to the office five days a week, up 20 points from one year ago. Millennial professionals (68 per cent) and working parents (59 per cent) are most likely to quit if called back.
“It’s clear professionals want continued flexibility in where and how they work — however, some companies appear to be out of sync with their employees’ priorities as they plan for the future,” said David King, Canadian senior managing director of Robert Half. “In today’s tight talent market, eliminating remote work options will only make hiring and retention more challenging. Employers need to move past the idea that collaboration and innovation only happen in the office and recognize that people are more engaged and motivated when they have a say in where they work.”
How to Embrace a Flexible Work Model
Companies may want to adopt a long-term hybrid work model but not know where to start. Robert Half offers five questions to help guide the process:
- How will you define “hybrid”? Will employees be required to come to the office certain days each week or only for specific purposes, such as trainings or team building?
- How can you improve your onboarding experience? As you hire remote employees, consider how you will make them feel welcome, supported and part of a team they may never meet in person.
- Do you have the right technology to support effective communication and collaboration? Consider what new tools to implement to create a seamless experience for onsite and remote staff.
- What business processes will be impacted? Anticipate problems, adjust workflows, and ensure everyone has access to the resources they need.
- How will you build and maintain engagement and morale? Create equal opportunities for all employees to grow and develop, network, and build authentic relationships with colleagues.
Read more about the benefits of embracing a hybrid work model on the Robert Half blog.
About the Research
The online surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 800 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees (collected November 11 to December 30, 2021), and more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older (collected March 3 to 11, 2022) in Canada.
About Robert Half
Robert Half (NYSE: RHI) is the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions and business consulting firm that connects opportunities at great companies with highly skilled job seekers. Robert Half offers contract, temporary and permanent placement solutions and is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm. Visit roberthalf.ca and download our award-winning mobile app.