Should IT workers be forced go back to the office?

Many feel just as productive or even more productive while working from home

Should IT workers be forced go back to the office?

More than 70 per cent of workers in the information technology sector will quit their job if their employer forces them to head back to the office, according to a survey.

That’s likely because more than 50 per cent of workers feel that they are just as productive working from home as they are when they were working in the office, with 30 per cent saying they think they are even more productive working remotely, according to Kovasys IT Recruitment.

Less than 10 per cent say that their productivity level has dropped.

Overall, over 45 per cent would want to work from home 100 per cent of the time while nearly 35 per cent prefer a hybrid model.

Just over 20 per cent would like to head back to the office full time, found the survey of more than 900 workers conducted July 15 to Aug. 4, 2021.

While 39 per cent say they will return to the office full time if their employer so demands, 25 per cent will go back but may start looking for a new job, according to a separate report. 

Also, one in three (33 per cent) employees currently working from home say that they will quit their job if forced to return to the workplace full time, according to a previous survey. And over half (54 per cent) say they would leave their company if current flexibility in schedule and work location is not extended post-pandemic, notes another report.

Careful planning needed

Employers have a lot of things to consider when it comes to bringing workers back to the office, according to Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of research firm Everest Group.

“The implications for shifting most or all a company’s workforce back to the office are significant. They range from planning around real estate expenditures to how to change the way they operate their IT and business process functions and how they can encourage their supply chain partners to do the same. A serious implication is finding and retaining IT and knowledge workers since we currently face an acute talent shortage.”

And companies must be sensitive around this topic as it may go against workers’ desire, he says.

“A significant portion of the workforce may not want to go back to the office; forcing them to do so will motivate them to leave – a situation particularly risky in the current acute talent shortage. Particularly in companies whose workforce leverages younger demographics, forcing them to return to the office could quickly become an acute problem.”

Creating a plan is essential for employers to succeed in getting workers back to their office stations, according to one expert.

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