A new report has revealed that return-to-office mandates, implemented by many of the world’s most influential companies in the months and years that followed the pandemic, aren’t actually leading to greater profits.
As the world started to return to normal, CEOs shared the many claimed benefits of working in the office, not least because impromptu meetings could improve collaboration and productivity (a keyword used by business execs that ultimately means profit).
However, according to the analysis of 500 companies by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, profit isn’t booming as anticipated.
Return-to-office mandates don’t work
Despite claims from managers that remote work hampers productivity and diminishes company performance, the study found that employees opposed this viewpoint.
Greater flexibility and the elimination of commutes have the opposite effect in many cases, not only giving workers more time to do their work but also making them more likely to work additional hours. Remote and hybrid working have also been found to be beneficial for workers’ wellbeing.
The report summarizes: “Results of our determinant analyses are consistent with managers using RTO mandates to reassert control over employees and blame employees as a scapegoat for bad firm performance.”
Challenging the belief that office-based working would enhance company profits, Ding and Ma of Pittsburgh University’s Katz Graduate School of Business found no significant changes in profitability and stock market valuation after the companies had implemented their new rules.
Besides financial implications, the study also revealed surging worker dissatisfaction among those asked to return to the office.
Headlines of companies asking workers to get back to the office have continued in recent months, but are now being matched by another wave of layoffs that are being put down to tough economic conditions.
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