Workers Likely to Quit if Asked to Return to Office ‘Unnecessarily’

Two-thirds of workers said they'd look for a new job if forced to return to the office full time "unnecessarily," according to a survey from ADP.

In the survey, which collected data from 33,000 global respondents, 64% said they would look for a new job if their employers required them to come back into the office full-time. While workers aged 18 to 24 are the most likely to leave their jobs if asked to return full-time (71%), this isn't just a phenomenon among younger employees. More than 61% of those aged 34 to 45 would quit if they had to be in the office full-time, and 56% of those aged 45 to 54 would quit as well. This resistance to full-time office work, the ADP report says, is less about where people are working and more about the control they have regarding when they work.

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However, while this might be a difficult pill for many employers to swallow, ADP concludes that the pandemic is causing workers to reexamine their priorities and set personal standards that reflect their values. Though the pandemic may be coming to a close, the emotional aftershocks are still omnipresent in the American workforce, and workplace stress is still rising, says ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson. As a result, she says, remote work is still in high demand as employees have become accustomed to having more autonomy. Employees aren't being told why it's important for them to go back to work, she adds. Instead, they're offered childish perks such as ping pong tables to incentivize them. But these transparent efforts aren't good enough, and employees need conscious, honest communication from their employers rather than authoritarian mandates.

"Employees need to feel like they're personally benefiting from waking up earlier and commuting to the office," Richardson told CNBC. "That it's really worth it, or they'll leave."