As the economy gives hints of stability, and people see COVID as something manageable, is the return to office finally here, or do employees have an upper hand in determining when and how often they will come to the office? 

“Companies such as Apple and Peloton have told corporate and office-based workers in the US to come back next month, and whether they do will say a lot about the ever-shifting balance of power between bosses and their underlings,” reports the Boston Globe. “Royal Bank of Canada and Comcast have also told workers to return several days a week sometime after Labor Day, which falls on Sept. 5. Corporate chiefs like Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase continue to bash remote work, raising concerns among some workers that staying home might be hazardous to their careers.”

“But demand for labor remains rock solid, providing skilled workers a good bit of leverage. Average office occupancy across 10 of America’s largest cities has barely budged in the past five months. In the battle of the boardroom versus the bedroom, something has to give come September.”

“Getting that hybrid formula right is tricky, and the September mandates suggest that leaders would rather tilt the scales on the side of in-person work, which they claim improves collaboration, coaching, and mentoring. Policies that were once merely recommended will soon be enforced, with companies tracking who’s badging in and who’s not.”

CoreNet Global’s tracking survey during the pandemic has strongly indicated some type of mixture of days in the office and remote work is an inevitability: 

In May, respondents replied as follows when asked  how often employees are required to be in the office on a weekly basis:

·      Not required on a weekly basis: 29 percent

·      At least one day per week: 5.6 percent

·      At least two days per week: 19.42 percent

·      At least three days per week: 28.4 percent

·      At least four days per week: 6.3 percent

·      Five days per week: 11.16 percent