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A Majority of Workers Say They Would Quit If Jobs Required Them to Return to the Office

Over two years ago, workers were still finding a rhythm in their new work from home setting and many were hesitant to change. But now, a new survey shows that a majority of workers said they would quit leave their positions if their employers required them to return to the office.

ADP Research Institute surveyed more than 32,000 workers in November 2021 from around the world. The survey found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of the global workforce said they they have already/would consider looking for a new job if their employer required them back in the office full-time.

The survey revealed that a resistance to returning to the office full-time is even higher among younger employees. Over 70% of 18-to 24-year-olds said that they would consider looking for another job if required to be in an office full-time, compared to 61% of 35- to 44-year-olds and 56% of 45- to 54-year-olds, the report found. Many companies, such as Google and Apple, have begun to offer hybrid schedules to compromise for employees who want some office life while still having the ability to work from home.

“Even a few years ago, the thought of working in a hybrid arrangement was – excuse the pun – remote to most people,” Nela Richardson, ADP’s chief economist who co-authored the report, told CNBC. “But now it’s clear that hybrid work and the desire for flexibility after two years of working from home is not going away – in fact, it’s growing in momentum.”

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Richardson shared that the desire for flexibility is less on the location of where they work and more on when and how they work. Employees have the autonomy to reschedule their days or have more of a say over what work they’re doing, which makes remote work less intimidating for younger workers.

If companies do want employees back in office, Richardson explains they will have offer in-office incentives that are “really worth” waking up earlier and commuting to the office. For now, many companies, such as Apple and Google, are asking employees to return to offices on a hybrid schedule for the time being as a way to compromise with employees who miss office settings and employees who aren’t ready to leave their WFH life behind.

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