Despite companies’ best efforts, few have been able to successfully enforce their return-to-office (RTO) policies, thanks in large part to the state of the job market.
Companies large and small are working to enforce RTO, but many employees are pushing back. Apple recently had to suspend its RTO escalation, and Google paused its plans for workers in its Maps division. According to a report by NPR, this is a growing trend, with companies having little recourse when employees refuse to come back to the office.
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With as many as 11.5 million job openings, much of the cause lies in the current state of the economy. In many cases, employers are hesitant to enforce issues that could lead to employees resigning with little hope of being able to fill those positions. Even Apple is not immune from this challenge, with its top AI executive resigning over the companies RTO policies.
In addition to the job market, the pandemic led to newfound realizations about what is possible.
“Could I have worked from home four days a week before the pandemic? I think I easily could have. It just wasn’t the environment,” Jason Carrier, a senior associate at Eagle Hill Consulting, told NPR.
When asked about the possibility of going back to the office full-time, his view was clear-cut:
“Probably very close to a deal breaker at this point,” he says.
Many companies, such as Eagle Hill, are adapting to the changes and altering their view of in-office work.
“I view the office changing,” said Eagle Hill’s chief marketing officer Susan Nealon. “It’ll be less about the individual work getting done, and more about the group work getting done.”