by Michelle Keefe | July 2, 2023


The Impact of Employees Fully Returning to Office

When the pandemic started, any non-essential organization that had the opportunity to transition to remote work, without needing to shut down, immediately started creating plans to make that happen with their employees. Positions that weren’t previously perceived as remote opportunities soon turned into full-time, work-from-home roles, proving that many careers don’t require commuting to an office five days a week.

Although many companies have continued allowing employees to work remotely, or at least offer a hybrid work environment, many organizations are now requiring employees to return to the office full-time. This change started happening once the global Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 ended at the beginning of May 2023, due to “some executives and leaders believing productivity increases when workers are in the office together, while others hope to increase in-person collaboration,” according to Business Insider.

What does that mean for these companies who are no longer offering flexible work options? Find out how that leads to decreased employee retention and what employers can do to change that.


How Fully In-Person Work Impacts Employees and Organizations
Highly-Skilled Employees Seek Other Career Opportunities

At the beginning of 2023, Slack conducted a survey that found that only 12% of employees would choose to be in the office full-time, even though 50% of leaders are now making this a requirement. In other words: once employees got a taste of remote work, they understandably didn’t want to go back. What does that mean for the employees who are not in favor of working in-person? They’ll likely seek other career opportunities that will provide them with better working arrangements in the form of fully remote work.

For the employees who require flexible working options — such as parents or people with disabilities — as well as the employees who moved out of expensive cities when the pandemic started, commuting to an office five days a week is no longer feasible. Time Magazine also shares, “Opponents argue that return to office policies disadvantage people of color and women who are discriminated against in person.” Remote work allows for a work/life balance and prevents bias and discrimination from happening in the office.

A Future Forum report found that “employees who don’t believe their company is being transparent about remote working policies are 2.3x more likely to look for a new job than those who are satisfied with their company’s messaging.” Many companies who once said that remote work is here to stay are now taking back that previous promise, losing trust from their employees. Furthermore, 75% of employees are planning to find a new job within the next year that offers remote work opportunities, according to CNBC.

Companies are leaving opportunities to attract high-quality candidates on the table by not offering a flexible work option that’s inclusive to all individuals, lifestyles, and accommodations.

Companies Must Offer Unique Incentives to Encourage a Full-Time Return to Office

Although 21% of employers say they will outright fire employees who comply with the return-to-office plan, according to ResumeBuilder, it’s crucial that they find a way to encourage their employees to return to the office full-time. How can that happen? By offering incentives that make it worthwhile to work in-person.

ResumeBuilder notes that several organizations are pulling together a handful of incentives to encourage in-person work, including:

  • Catered meals
  • Commuter benefits
  • Raises
  • Improved office space
  • Team / company events
  • Pet-friendly office
  • Childcare

And more. By working from home, employees are able to take care of loved ones and pets, manage household responsibilities, save time and money from commuting, and more. That means that if companies want their employees to return to in-person work, the company must offer benefits that outweigh the benefits they’re currently receiving by working from home.


Implementation of Performance Management for Remote Employees

Despite studies showing that employee production increases with remote work, several employers believe that there’s more benefit to their employees working in-person vs working remotely. Overall, according to ResumeBuilder, business leaders believe that in-office work results in improvement in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Productivity
  • Company culture
  • Employee oversight

And more. Employees of older generations, who are often used to in-person work and view that as the “norm,” may worry about the productivity of employees who work from home. However, these same results can happen with employees who are fully remote — employers just need to find the right performance management process to make that happen and prove it.

As suggested by, employers can measure the productivity of their remote employees by:

  • Fostering a results-oriented culture
  • Setting clear goals, deadlines, and expectations
  • Finding ways to increase accountability
  • Prioritizing important tasks
  • Encouraging employees to track hours and activities
  • Trusting your employees

By having a plan to follow when analyzing the performance of your employees, you’re able to accurately measure the results they’ve brought to the table and ensure that they’re staying on target, regardless of where they work.

Ensuring Success of Remote Employees with the Help of a Recruiting Agency
Attracting Desirable Candidates

Wondering which organizations are doing an excellent job of creating remote work environments for their employees to view as inspiration for what you can implement in your own company? Check out this list of 100 companies to watch for remote jobs in 2023.

If you’re looking for additional resources, we’re here to help. At MomUp, we specialize in supporting organizations who are ready to attract the best candidates for their open positions while amplifying the talent of underrepresented communities. We work with our clients to build diverse teams and ensure that those candidates feel supported and secure in their new workplace, regardless of their sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Additionally, we prioritize creating flexible work environments that provide equal opportunities for all candidates.

Get started with MomUp today!