We’ve waited and wondered: how will the return-to-office pan out for employees? So far, things are looking good. In a survey of 1,000 recently returned employees, we learned that nearly every employee (95%) has experienced advantages from being in the workplace. For employers, this is huge. These results suggest that people still believe working on-site is essential. In fact, employees said they find many advantages to being on-site. But employers shouldn’t rest on their laurels; people also say there’s more their companies can do to make the workplace better. Let’s take a look at what else employees think about returning on-site and where organizations can improve to create an even better workplace experience.
46% of employees want to separate home life from work life
The vast majority of respondents said there’s an upside to going into the workplace. Above you can see how employees responded when we asked, “Which of the following, if any, have been advantages of returning to the office?” 46% of respondents said separating work life from home life has been an advantage. That’s followed by 44% of employees who said collaborating with co-workers in person and 39% who said hanging out with work friends. These responses suggest that employees want to build connections with coworkers—not through a screen but in person. They also imply that employees believe there are mental health and career benefits to working on-site.
Quick tip: Survey your employees to find out what they miss most about the workplace. (If they’ve already returned, ask them about the advantages of being back on-site.) Then, create employee personas. This will help your team ensure employees get what they want most out of the workplace.
Workplace advantages vary by generation
Apart from separating work from home, Gen Z employees see the most benefit from face-time with managers (43%). Younger employees may be more willing to seek out career growth opportunities since they’re earlier in their careers. For their part, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers find it easier to collaborate with co-workers while on-site (45%). Gen Z and Millennials see more opportunities for learning and mentorship (37% and 34%, respectively) compared to Gen X (21%) and Boomers (14%).
Quick tip: Don’t make assumptions about why employees want to be in the workplace. Get clear on the advantages they see in being in there so you can make sure you help them get the most of their time on-site.
Employers could be doing more to improve the workplace experience
Quick tip: Employers should start building for the workplace of the future today. That means adopting the tools and technology your people need to be productive and happy while on-site. For tips, check out this ebook.
—Having to work remotely during the pandemic has given employees new perspectives on what they value in the workplace. The vast majority of respondents said that the workplace has been advantageous since returning. However, people also say the workplace experience could be better. This shows us that while people want to work on-site, they expect employers to have systems in place to keep them safe and provide peace of mind.
Tiffany is a content crafter and writer at Envoy, where she helps workplace leaders build a workplace their people love. Outside of work, her passions include spending time with her greyhound, advocating for the Oxford comma, and enjoying really great tea.
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