The disconnect between employers and employees around the idea of returning to the office continues. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, managers and executives are pushing to reopen offices but workers — especially women — prefer the flexibility that comes with working remotely.
Specifically, 39% of women say that home offices are more valuable to them, compared to 30% of men who prefer a company-provided office as their ideal workplace.
This is, of course, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which shifted a number of workers to fully remote and shifted their view of the traditional office. Some have gone so far as to say they no longer see it as necessary to commute into a physical office in order to be productive.
While some employees are embracing the idea of returning to their company’s facilities, CareerBuilder said the ideal location for others lies outside the office. The report found that 34% of employed adults overall prefer a home office, compared to 27% who ranked a company-provided office as their top choice.
Broken down by generations, 20% of Gen Z, 35% of Millennials and 44% of Baby Boomers said they prefer to work from home. However, non-traditional workspaces — such as outdoor or patio areas, co-working spaces and coffee shops — were preferred by 26% of employees. The workers who preferred these locations were primarily Gen Z and Millennials.
“Back-to-office mandates are proving challenging for both the employer and the employee, as cultures and values continue to shift,” said Kristin Kelley, CareerBuilder’s chief marketing officer. “Expectations and employee needs have changed over the last two years, requiring many employers to adopt new rules for in-office attendance, meeting requests and even workday hours.”
To better attract and retain talent, Kelley said, employers will need to adjust schedules and expectations to meet employees’ expectations.