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Despite driving out talent, companies continue RTO mandates

Written on Jun 6, 2024

Despite return to office (RTO) policies continually driving away talent, 1 in 4 companies are planning to increase in-person workdays, according to Resume Builder.  

Half of companies responding to a Resume Builder survey already ask workers to be in the office 4 out of 5 days a week, they said. Overall, the majority of company respondents are planning to maintain in-office days, if not increase them. 

Still, 80% of surveyed employers reported losing talent due to RTO mandates. 

Experts on labor and workplace culture have spoken at length about the damage that RTO does to talent retention. 

About 3 in 4 HR executives told The Conference Board they were struggling with RTO policies; 71% said they struggled to retain workers after mandating on-site work. 

The Conference Board’s VP of Human Capital Robin Erickson said in a statement that the C-suite needs to “develop policies that balance workplace flexibility with the cultural and social benefits of on-site work.” Erickson emphasized that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but that “hybrid work is the likely solution in many instances.” 

Still, the ongoing discourse about RTO is unsurprising. Researchers said that RTO debates will continue to be a top HR trend throughout 2024. Employee respondents to a 2022 Gartner survey said that the cost of returning to the office outweighed the benefits, even as 3 in 4 HR leaders told Gartner they’d mandated on-site attendance in some form. 

On-site requirements may no longer be a deal-breaker, one HR consulting company found early this year. While 50% of workers prefer fully remote work, 55% also said they wouldn’t reject a fully on-site job offer if they were otherwise interested in the position. 

More specifically, if mandated to RTO, 41% of workers told TalenTrust that they would ask for more flexibility. More than a third of workers said they would return without questioning. 

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