News: Bosses prefer working from home more than employees do: study


Bosses prefer working from home more than employees do: study

Despite assumptions, multiple surveys indicate that leaders aren't eager to forsake remote work either. Merely 21% of executives and non-executives show a willingness to return to the office.
Bosses prefer working from home more than employees do: study

Throughout 2023, the focus remained on office-based or hybrid work arrangements as numerous companies summoned their employees back. Interestingly, managers displayed a greater preference for remote and hybrid work compared to their employees.

According to Fortune, a Checkr survey revealed that a significant majority of managers (68%) indicated a desire to persist with remote work into the new year. In contrast, a smaller proportion of employees (48%) echoed this preference. These findings contest the conventional understanding of preferences in the return-to-office (RTO) discussion.

In the ongoing battle between office advocates and proponents of the new work style, top-level executives have been pushing for return-to-office mandates in hopes of restoring normalcy or having better oversight of their workforce. 

However, this clashed with resistance from employees, especially younger workers, who valued their flexibility. Meanwhile, middle managers tasked with implementing these mandates found themselves navigating tensions and experiencing heightened burnout.

Surprisingly, recent surveys have shown that the cohort favouring office work is actually younger than previously thought; a significant portion of Gen Zers believe in-person work enhances productivity and offers better career development opportunities, such as networking.

Contrary to assumptions, numerous surveys indicate that bosses aren't enthusiastic about abandoning remote work either. Only 21% of executives and non-executives express a desire to return to the office, according to Future Forum's April 2022 Pulse Survey. 

Even higher-paid employees are showing a preference for remote work; research from McKinsey suggests that one-third of those earning over $150,000 annually would quit if required to return to the office full-time.

The data suggests that management might desire flexibility as much, if not more, than employees in general. Checkr's findings indicate that 52% of management would prefer a four-day workweek over a pay increase in 2024, compared to 38% of employees. This might partially be due to the fact that management typically earns higher salaries than other employees.

So, if managers share a reluctance to return to the office similar to their employees, what explains the disconnect between their sentiments and the enforced mandates? It's possible that middle managers are merely executing their superiors' preferences, or that CEOs are constrained by their boards. 

However, the desire to supervise employees in person might outweigh the preference for working remotely. When asked if they would prefer to return to the office because in-person supervision is easier, 70% of managers agreed with the statement, compared to 63% of all employees.

Despite agreeing with employees on certain aspects, bosses appear skeptical of those vehemently against office work. According to Checkr, more than half (56%) of managers view strong anti-return-to-office sentiments as a "red flag," compared to only 38% of employees who share a similar perspective.

In conclusion, it appears that bosses and employees are more aligned in their sentiments than previously thought at the start of the new year. However, whether this alignment will influence future trends remains uncertain.

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Topics: Leadership, #HybridWorkplace, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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